Argumentative Essay On The Meaning Of Life
For centuries humans have pondered over what exactly the meaning of life was. Humans naturally desire to fulfill some type of existential meaning, but how does one address this desire? Philosophers Lois P. Pojman and Albert Camus analyzed the question and reached different conclusions, which leads to the problem of understanding weather or not it is possible to answer such a question? Both philosophers have claimed to have found meaning in their lives, but both philosophers view their meaning on earth differently. This indicates that meaning is personal and only you can decide what gives your life meaning, but should that be all humans strive for? Pojman Found his meaning through essentialism “we are not the product of chance” (Klemke & Cahn, …show more content…
In this essay, the author
- Analyzes how philosophers lois p. pojman and albert camus analyzed the question and reached different conclusions, which leads to the problem of understanding weather or not it is possible to answer such a question.
- Analyzes how pojman found his meaning through essentialism. he focuses on values such as a christian’s deeper motive for morally good actions, not out of fear of hell.
- Analyzes how pojman believed his life had existential meaning, while camus looked past it to enjoy ordinary pleasures in life.
- Analyzes how pojman argues that it was not a waste to live with faith because you were morally conscious.
- Argues that although camus strived to live to the fullest, he wasn't necessarily striving for selfless life like a christian. if everyone lived in happy bubbles nothing would be accomplished and the world continues to be selfish.
- Agrees with camus that life should be appealing, valued, and that people shouldn't be grateful for life's ordinary pleasures.
- Opines that there must be more to life than just enjoying the ordinary things. whether one believes life could be rich in god-given meaning like pojman, or that science alone had given the earth its beauty and history, one must look for ways to improve.
Instead of simply placing ones whole meaning onto a greater being, or negatively viewing human existence like other existentialists, Camus decided that the meaning of life was whatever prevents you from suicide “those who commit suicide where assured of the meaning of life” (Klemke & Cahn, 2017)Pg. 74. As morbid as that sounds, Camus has a point, if someone is unable to view existential meaning in a greater being they must find something that makes life worth living. Camus looked at life very eloquently finding beauty in ordinary places such as the sun, dancing, and relationships. Camus admits that he is unaware of any meaning that may transcend the world “what can meaning outside my condition mean to me?” (Klemke & Cahn, 2017) Pg 77 with that being said he looks into the world of religion and claims that one does not want to follow something they cannot fully understand. Camus sticks to what he knows and is satisfied living a life with …show more content…
Although a Christian life style is not the optimal life for many, Pojman looks into Pascal’s Wager where Pascal looks at the pros and cons of faith. Pascal claimed that if you believe in a God that is not real when you die nothing happens and you lose nothing, but Pojman argues that it was not a waste to live with faith because you were morally conscious, meaning you were probably a better person because of your faith. “We should live in such a way as to allow the virtues of theism to inspire our lives and our culture.” (Klemke & Cahn, 2017)Pg 30. If people stop banking on whether there is a God or not, and just hold the high values of equality the world can begin to build a community with a better civilization instead of just dwelling in our own
- Explains that philosophers have pondered the question, "what is the meaning of life?" based on the theoretical frameworks of subjectivity, freedom, responsibility, and purpose in modern existentialism.
- Analyzes how descartes made the most powerful argument in the form of the cogito, when he stated, "i think therefore i am."
- Opines that it is logically impossible to deny one's existence as a subject. sartre claims that every truth and every action imply human environment and human subjectivity.
- Explains that people exist in a world of inter-subjectivity with others perceiving different objective events, making each human being unique.
- Analyzes how gadamer refers to freedom as the highest principle that humans can strive for. heidegger, marcel, sartre and camus agree that individual persons should not be subjected unnecessarily to the will of others.
- Analyzes how the concept of freedom is subject to individual interpretation, but humans must actively assert it, even if it is just as simple as stating it.
- Argues that freedom must be balanced by the concept of responsibility. human beings must choose the freedom of others as well as their own.
- Explains that by balancing freedom and responsibility, one can establish purpose and more closely define what it subjectively means to live a good life.
- Explains that people try to maximize the amount of good things in their life as opposed to bad. the good has an inherent ability to cause happiness.
- Explains that the “good” can be said to be whatever an individual perceives as being positive. although sisyphus was condemned to roll a stone up the hill for the rest of his life, one could only imagine that he was compelled to do this.
- Analyzes how camus introduces the notion of quantity into living, stating that one must actively assert their freedom, being responsible enough to assert that of others as well.
- Explains that technology is a huge aspect of our everyday lives. it can be used to educate, heal, and help, but it can also degrade, hurt and hinder.
- Analyzes how human subjectivity gives us the capacity to reason and know the difference between the good and the bad.
- Argues that gorgias' answer to the question, "what is the meaning of life?" may raise objections, but it gives a starting point to consider.
- Explains that humans have a subjective reality and should not be subjected to unnecessary affliction brought on by the will of another. once these guidelines have been established, one can establish purpose and realize fulfillment for living good lives.
- Describes heidegger, martin's the question concerning technology and other essays toronto: harper and row publishers.
- Opines that the question to ask about the meaning of life has an answer. meaning has to do with how a word represents something or communicates something.
- Explains that life is important because it serves a purpose and has some sort of value connected to it. in the religious viewpoint it is understood that god is the person that individuals are valuable to.
- Opines that life has no meaning because there are justifications and explanations for most of the things that we do within life.
- Concludes that life has many different meanings because of its complexity. time is what happens between being born and dying. individuals need to live as if they may die tomorrow.
- Explains that if life is time, we need to be present focused, but not too future focused.
- Argues that existentialism obscures the views of some individuals toward one unique belief structure. the hunt for our true meaning is primitive and so are the answers that have maintained it throughout history.
- Analyzes how existentialism plays a crucial role in searching for the ultimate truth of oneself in the movie "i heart huckabees."
- Explains that existentialism is convoluted, but certain subjects are normal amongst rationalists, such as moral independence, opportunity of decision, obligation, and distance. existentalism rejects customary moral endeavors.
- Analyzes existentialism's claim that the individual must pick his way, since the universe is useless and ludicrous, and must set their own moral norms. the rationalist kierkegaard, who called himself existential, responded against custom by demanding to discover his uniqueness.
- Argues that existentialism affirms that individuals do not have an altered nature, as different creatures do.
- Explains existentialists propose a system for which obligation can be perceived. this blueprint does not advise individuals what and how to pick, rather it suggests that there are good and bad methods for picking.
- Explains that existentialists view obligation as an individual and subjective, considering individuals choose profound quality, not a supreme being. they demand that individual ensounters and following up on one’s feelings are fundamental in touching base at reality.
- Argues that existentialists keep up that life is inadequate without good moral independence, opportunity of decision, obligation, and estrangement. individuals have the privilege to choose their particular destiny, even when their choices are socially unsuitable.
- Opines that there is no inborn obligation or importance in anything we do or ought to try to do yet we have made a domain which makes us think there's.
- Analyzes joseph campbell's comment on the search for meaning common to every man. he states that we will never find some great pure meaning behind everything, because there is none.
- Analyzes how grendel's fascination with humans stems from the base of his soul, which realizes that the humans have found joy in life, some poetic form in the chaos.
- Analyzes how grendel meets the key character in the fulfillment of his view of life. the dragon is cold, unemotional, and uncomprehending of the subtleties of living.
- Analyzes how grendel's death is a real form of the cynicism he has always felt.
- Explains that butts, leonard, "the monster as artist: grendel and freddy's book." the novels of john gardner.
- Analyzes how grendel, the monster, loses sight of his joy in life when he forgets that it's the life itself that governs his actions.
- Analyzes how grendel's views are malleable and easily shaken by the rock-hard insistence of the dragon.
- Analyzes how beowulf, the dragon, and grendel's cynicism are all wrapped into one lethal package, forcing him to the dark conclusions which forever sever him from humanity.
- Cites klinkowitz, jerome, and merrill, robert. "john gardner's grendel and the interpretation of modern fables."
- Compares christy wampole's "how to live without irony" and richard taylor' "the meaning of human existence." they agree that humans should dictate their lives to justify meaningfulness.
- Analyzes taylor's argument that life is meaningless if it follows repetitiveness, contentfulness, or fear.
- Analyzes taylor's argument that human lives aren't anymore meaningful than animals. contentment can mislead someone to a meaningless life.
- Opines that creative thinking is a huge part in distinguishing whether or not life is meaningful, but we must realize that society has been very meaningless.
- Opines that wampole argues that creative thought is needed for a meaningful life.
- Disagrees with wampole's argument about meaningfulness, but believes that it may be a more subjective meaning than he argues about in the writing.
- Disagrees with taylor's view that meaningfulness is subjective. they agree with s' claim that you must have goals.
- Opines that having goals and a purpose are the foundation of meaningful life.
- Agrees with taylor and wampole that we must be sincere and be ourselves in order to have a truly meaningful life.
- Explains that humans seek meaning in a meaningless universe that yields no comfort to their questions. free agents can choose to find meaning by taking leaps of faith, placing hopes in gods, or conclude that life is unworthy of living. physician-assisted suicide is morally more than just suicide
- Analyzes how camus argues that suicide is a confession that life is not worth living, which he links to "feelings of absurdity".
- Explains that suicide is the act or instance of taking one’s own life voluntarily and intentionally. suicidal individuals lose the battle before it can reach a resolution.
- Explains that suicide is a morally wrong decision, while ending one's life for physical suffering is socially controversial. severe depression is the leading cause of suicide, which is treatable mental illness at all stages.
- Explains how the physician helped billy accept the unpredictable nature of the universe, acknowledge inevitability, and feel prepared for tough times to come. the terminally ill help to move the argument forward on the morality of suicide.
- Explains that the death with dignity act allows the terminally ill to end their suffering with the aid of a physician.
- Explains that the death with dignity act allows patients to end their suffering in a way that gives them control over something they do not have ultimate control.
- Explains that terminally ill people choose to end their life because they are a free agent who acts how they see fit. there are no limitations or rules to suicide.
- Analyzes how camus establishes the epistemology on which he bases all his works in the stranger and the myth of sisyphus.
- Analyzes how camus uses the word "absurd" to mean irrational, insensible, while focusing on the root meaning of "deaf, silent".
- Analyzes how rachel, the first absurd heroine, was slaughtered by herod to ensure the liquidation of any possible king. she cried out, lamenting, weeping, and mourning for her children.
- Opines that camus wrote the stranger at the same time as the myth of sisyphus, showing us an absurd hero in meursault.
- Opines that it would not be an error to read the stranger as a story of man who, without any heroic posturing, is willing to die for the truth.
- Analyzes how camus develops meursault in what he has called a negative fashion. in the stranger, dr. rieux is another example of the absurd hero.
- Cites almäng, j., dept. of philosophy, göteborg university, sweden.
- Analyzes how camus' philosophical question, "is there any reason not to commit suicide?" arose when people started seeing the world for how it truly is. absurdity implicates unjustness and lack of morals or values.
- Analyzes how heidegger's concepts of everydayness and chatter interact with each other, turning man from happy and brilliant people into alienated and unhappy people.
- Explains that essence precedes existence, which is when things are thought up before they come into being.
- Explains that sartre was atheistic, and said that because there was no god man was "condemned to be free." anguish comes through when a person must choose for everyone without knowing if they have made the right choice.
- Explains that we always assume what someone is from when we first hear about them. death is not all that his name says, but were blind to see past that.
- Opines that death is a kind and caring person who is forced into taking the dead to the afterlife.
- Analyzes how death takes care of the dead who go to the afterlife. death's name doesn't identify him as grueling or terrifying.
- Analyzes how death cares for people who are dead from an event that happens. he shows empathy for liesel as she seems to be in a very depressed state.
- Analyzes how death hates the idea of people dying in gruesome ways. he doesn't want to see us in some form of pain.
- Analyzes how death seems to be forced into wars. he doesn't like it, and he shows empathy with no one showing it back towards him.
- Analyzes how death is a caring, kind person who seems to be forced into doing all of this from someone or something. death shows empathy towards liesel as she was in shock of what has happened.
- Compares the views of richard taylor and albert camus regarding the meaning of life through the greek myth of sisyphus.
- Analyzes how camus establishes in his argument that life is meaningless. he believes that people following the same regiment repeatedly for years will eventually ask themselves the point of this endless behavior.
- Analyzes how camus' solution to escape this existence is suicide, but he provides an alternative more substantial solution in such a way that doesn't let the universe triumph.
- Analyzes how richard taylor reconceives the myth of sisyphus in two ways.
- Analyzes how taylor's second approach conceives the myth involves imagining the condemnation of sisyphus. the god had instilled in him an irrational desire to roll stones.
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Sample Reflective Paper to Help Write Meaning of Life Essays
When tasked with an essay about meaning of life, you basically have two choices if you try to accomplish it single-handedly. You can either spill your guts and reflect on the issue or dig into philosophical nuances and get lost in the vicious circle of searching for the answer. The piece below is one of those 'meaning of life' essay examples that manage to incorporate traits of both categories. Read it to see how you can deal with the task with a short text while including some big ideas in it.
What is the Meaning of Life?
We cannot help you find the meaning of life, but we can show you what "professional writing help" means.
I cannot give an exact definition of the meaning of life. I think nobody can, even the most famous and reputable philosophers. They can describe some basic aspects, suggest some formulas, or express an opinion, but even the greatest minds cannot define the meaning of life in full because it is a broad concept that differs for different people. Nevertheless, I do have an understanding of what kind of life would be meaningful for me and what kind of life would be senseless. In this regard, I support Richard Taylor's approach. He starts by discussing the meaningless life by the example of Camus' story of Sisyphus. I think that when it comes to complicated ideas, it is best to reason by a reversal. For example, I do not know what to wear, but I am certain what not to wear today. Similarly, I agree with Taylor's reasoning and his opinion that the meaning of life is directly connected to an active engagement in life. This thought is further developed by Susan Wolf, who also thinks that when people are actively involved in an interesting project of a high value, it makes their life meaningful.
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For me, the meaning of life means being present in life, being present in the moment, being active, and taking my chances. When I am doing something, I feel alive, and it fills my life with meaning. Moreover, when I am doing something for other people, like helping my granny with online shopping or walking the dog for my sick friend, it also adds meaning to my life. It does not matter if I help people with trifles or with some major issues. The very act of helping is important for me. I feel that my life is meaningful when I see that I can brighten someone's day or make somebody smile. I am no Good Samaritan, but I do enjoy being good to others, and I am sure that it adds value and meaning to my life.
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Meaning Of Life Essays (Examples)
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Meaning of Life
Life It is important to acquire goodness in order to understand the meaning and purpose of life. Distressed and hopeless people do not consider or think about the meaning of life. For them, the meaning of life becomes inappropriate when their existence is at stake and when their life is a mixture of worries and perplexities. On the other hand, people who are not desperate mull over the meaning of life. It becomes a problem for such people to reflect on the meaning of life who count on endurance, relief, safety measures, and pleasure. For desperate people, life is to be lived one moment at a time. However, those who consider the meaning of life as important consider it every day and very well know that they should step back from the moment to see and observe life in a long-range context (Baumeister 3). It is a fact that every…
"A Quick Introduction to the Islamic Faith."InspiredbyMuhammad.com. MakeMeBelieve, 2010. Web. 6 May 2012. .
Baumeister, R.F. Meanings of Life. New York: Guilford Press, 1991.Questia. Web. 5 May 2012. .
Besant, A. "The Life and Teachings of Muhammad." theosophique. Theosophical Publishing House, 1903. Web. 6 May 2012. .
Cook, M. Muhammad. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996.Questia. Web. 5 May 2012. .
strong issue with the ideas of David Benatar and James Lenman (1997), which I regard as simply absurd, or more likely a case of academics striking a pose and writing in a sarcastic and cynical manner in hopes of getting a rise out of their readers. If the latter is true, they certainly succeeded with me, since I cannot accept the notion that non-existence is always preferable to existence or that it does not matter if the human species becomes extinct. In fact, I assert that such theories run contrary to the basic survival instinct and self-regard that most humans have, even under conditions of extreme suffering and brutality. For whatever reasons, even in the worst situations, something in the human species drives its powerful desire to survive. People may not always be loving and humane with themselves or others, but most of them do have a strong sense of…
Bauman, Z. (2003). Liquid Love: On the Frailty of Human Bonds. Polity Press.
Benatar, D. (2204). "Why It Is Better Never to Come into Existence" in D. Benatar (ed). Life, Death and Meaning. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.
Lenman, J. (2004). "On Becoming Extinct," in Benatar, pp. 135-54.
Pollak, R. (1997). The Creation of Dr. B.: A Biography of Bruno Bettleheim. Touchstone.
Value Meaning of Life
Life Philosophers much older and wiser than I have wrestled with the thorny question of life's meaning, and risen from the mat covered with scratches and welts, but still without answers. The questions regarding life's meaning plague mankind at times. During times of prosperity and success, culture and man's conscious is understandably silent on the issue. There is no reason to struggle with the weighty matters of my purpose on this planet when my bank account is filled, and my family is healthy, and I can generally attain those things I want in my pursuit of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. But often, society's prosperity gives birth to trouble. The economic prosperity of the 60's and 70's brought an increase in pollution, and families unexpectedly had to adjust to polluted groundwater, smog, and a general increase in pollution diseases. These changed in our lives do not always come…
Frankl, Victor E. Man's search for Meaning. New York: Simon and Schuster. 1984
Shakespeare, William. King Lear. New York: Penguin books, 1970.
Shakespeare, William. Macbeth. New York: Penguin Books. 1987.
Book of Job. The Bible, Revised Standard Version. 1952
death and meaning of life in Tuesdays with Morrie
.....deathbed, Morrie reflects on his life, and relays several messages about the meaning or purpose of life. Ironically, one of the main messages of the story is that life does not necessarily have a greater or cosmic meaning. Meaning is found in what is immediately before us, in the day-to-day existence and especially in relationships with others. Life's meaning is found in accepting life for what it is rather than wishing it could be something else. The meaning of life can therefore be best understood by appreciating what we have now instead of wishing we were different or that things were different. Second, and following from this, the meaning of life is located in the small details, things we can frequently overlook -- finding beauty and joy in every day, even on bad days and in situations that are painful or uncomfortable. Meaning is especially found in friendship, caring for…
The Meaning of Life
Life A number of literary, philosophical, psychological, religious and other writers are of the view that the subject of 'the meaning of life' forms one among the most central issues experienced by people. Tolstoy (Rowlands) claims that science is unable to provide assistance in this regard. While it can describe what life is, it is incapable of describing its meaning. It is able to explain the things in this world and what's possible; however, it is unable to explain their meaning and importance. Tolstoy states that faith provides an answer to this question. Hence, he asserts that irrespective of the answers provided by faith, it accords the finiteness of humanity's existence a sense of infiniteness, which fails to get vanquished under conditions of death, afflictions, and hardship (Tolstoy). As a result, faith alone provides the possibility and meaning of life. One may describe faith as knowledge regarding life's meaning, as…
Life in Aristotle Socrates King
He believed strongly in the government's protection of civil rights and equal opportunities for all its citizens. If a government failed to do so, he called for civil disobedience. King (1986) stated that freedom must be taken from the oppressors (p. 292). His concept of meaning was formulated in the crucible of unjust laws and centered on the notion of social justice. This meant attaining freedom, dignity, and social equality for all, not just for the privileged. His advocacy of non-violent protest aligned him with Socrates, as did his subversive speech. He felt strongly that it was every person's ethical duty to stand up peacefully but powerfully against all forms of oppression, and like Socrates he was willing to face death bravely for his cause. As opposed to Aristotle and close to Socrates, he affirmed that one must work to change the material conditions of life as well as social…
Aristotle. (2004). Nicomachean Ethics. (F. H. Peters, Trans). 5th Ed. New York, NY: Barnes & Noble. (Originally published in 1893).
Frankl, Viktor E. (1984). Man's Search for Meaning: An Introduction to Logotherapy. (Ilse Lasch, Trans.) 3rd Ed. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster. (Reprinted from Death-Camp to Existentialism, 1963, Boston: Beacon).
King, Martin Luther, Jr. (1986). "Letter from Birmingham Jail." In James Melvin Washington (Ed.), a Testament of Hope: the Essential Writings and Speeches of Martin Luther King, Jr. (pp. 289-302). New York, NY: HarperOne.
Plato. (1997). Complete Works. (John M. Cooper, Ed). Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company.
Life in a Godless World for as
Life in a Godless orld For as long as mankind has contemplated its own creation philosophers have pondered the meaning of life largely within the context of humanity's relationship to the divine, from Aristotle's metaphysical conception of God as all actuality to Descartes' systematic attempt to develop a proof of God's existence. The dominance of Christianity throughout much the civilized world invariably constrained the ability of great thinkers to challenge many of the religion's most fundamental precepts, from the concept of free will to the nature of good and evil, leaving much of the early philosophical canon regrettably limited by a reliance on unquestioned faith. After the European Renaissance validated the structural foundations of scientific inquiry, the glaring inability to empirically observe God in any conceivable form prompted many to privately question the dogmatic assertions of the Pope and his church. It wasn't until the momentous contribution of the German…
Camus, Albert. The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1955. Print.
"Nietzche - The Gay Science." Existentialism: Basic Writings. Charles Guignon and Derk Pereboom. 2nd. Indianapolis, IN: Hackett Publishing Company, Inc., 2001. 129-171. Print. .
Nietzsche, Friedrich. On the Genealogy of Morals, I, II, III, 9. Translated by Walter Kaufmann and R.J. Hollingdale. New York: Viking, 1969. Print.
Nietzsche, Friedrich. Twilight of the Idols. Translated by Walter Kaufmann and R.J. Hollingdale. New York: Viking, 1969. Print.
life's meaning defined by viktor frankl
Frankl, many people seek therapy because of the "feeling of the total and ultimate meaningless of their lives," (p. 62). Frankl mainly refers to the "super-meaning" or to the ultimate meaning of life from a general existential or cosmological perspective -- not the personalized meaning in one individual's purpose in life, which is a different question (p. 74). A state of meaninglessness is the inability to move forward and progress through pain, not just in spite of pain and suffering but because of it. Meaningless is a "feeling of emptiness," and an "existential vacuum," (p. 143). Meaninglessness is the inability to learn from suffering, and thereby transform suffering into something that is meaningful. According to Frankl, meaningfulness cannot be located in the propagation of the species because one must find meaning whether or not one procreates. Meaning comes from feeling useful, and feeling useful needs to arise independently of external…
Life's Meaning for Centuries Humans
I am the founder and owner of a 25-year-old vocational school and still lecture daily. I have been married to the woman of my dreams for almost 40 years; have two children and two grandchildren. e are building a second home on a lakefront about an hour from the school with the plan that I will lecture for three days and spend four days per week at the lake. Certainly, the school and tangible income has allowed us to be comfortable and educate our children, as well as put away a bit for the future. However, when I reflect, what I really find as "meaning" is the way in which, in some small manner, we have helped transform the lives of so many students who are now successful businessmen and women, who have families, and who are continuing with some of the ethical and moral principles engrained at school. The…
WORKS CITED and CONSULTED
Bittarello, M. (2008). "Re-Crafting the Past: The Complex Relationship Between Myth and Ritual." Pomegranate: The International Journal of Pagan Studies 10.2 (2008): 214+.
Cosgrove, M. (2006). Foundations of Christian Thought. Kregel.
Jordan, P. (2001). Neanderthal: Neanderthal Man and the Story of Human Origins. The History Press.
O'Neill, M. And C. Mahoney, eds. (2007). Romantic Poetry: An Annotated Anthology,
Life and Death in Virginia Woolf
Virginia Woolf, the author focuses her attention on a number of scenes to bring home a central idea to her reader. Through her considerations of people, insects, and a variety of other elements Ms. Woolf considers the deeper meanings of life and the various meanings it might have for individuals and the collective of humanity. By a variety of essays that range from the death of a simple moth at a window to the complex writings of Horace Walpole, Virginia Woolf appears to contemplate the many ways in which life might make itself meaningful via death, perpetual pain, and creativity. Virginia Woolf's interpretation of death as life's ultimate purpose in its simplest form is provided in "The Death of the Moth." The author describes a moth that flies "by day," which is caught at a window. She also describes night moths as somewhat pleasantly exciting a sense of darkness, which…
Life Is Worth Living People Are Living
Life Is Worth Living People are living longer than ever before. With the advances of medical science, longer and higher quality of lives are more possible than they were a few decades ago. With the ability to live longer than previously enjoyed how does one decide a life is worth living? I believe it has to do with the heart and the mind. I have a friend who recently lost the ability to walk. Before this happened to my friend I had a much different idea about what makes life worthwhile. Watching my friend rise above the challenge and find many things to live for made me think about the true value and meaning of life. I realize now it is not what one cannot accomplish, but what one can accomplish that defines the value of a life. I believe that a life is worth living if a person can…
Lives of Female Saints in
Women identified their hrist Jesus who was food during mass as the redemption of humanity. The women believed reaching spirituality was through food, since naturally they were food from their ability to breastfeed. The Medieval women associated the breast as seen in Holy mother, Mary's own breastfeeding as a Eucharistic feeding of the soul. The painting also indicates that to the Female saints of the Middle Ages, prayer was an important element in their connection to God. In the "The life and Miracles of Saint Godelieve," Godelieve makes prayer requests and offerings of food to God, that are answered by angels who bring delicacies for the poor. Annotated Bibliography Amy Hollywood. "Sensible Ecstasy: Mysticism, Sexual Difference, and the Demands of History (Religion and Postmodernism)," University of hicago Press, (2002). This article carries out an analysis of anthropological studies of the medieval times, and looks into the connection of the body,…
Counihan Carole, M. "The Anthropology of Food and Body: Gender, Meaning and Power," Routledge, (1999), p.98.
Metropolitan Museum of Art, Maryann Ainsworth A., & Keith, Christiansen. "From Van Eyck to Bruegel," (1998), p.127.
Counihan Carole, M. "The Anthropology of Food," Routledge, (1999), p.98.
Life of Buddha
Life of the Buddha: What was the Buddha's name? How else do Buddhists refer to him? His name is Siddhartha Gautama and he is often referred to as the 'awakened' or 'enlightened' one. What are the circumstances in which the Buddha grew up? Siddhartha was born in 563 B.C. He lived in a place called Lumbini and then was raised in Kapilavashtha, Sakya Kingdom's capital. During this time, Northern India was made up of various small and independent states. It is during this period, people came to challenge and question Vedic philosophy through a number of new religious and philosophical schools. There was a strong moral vacuum present. What are the "four passing sights"? The first is an old man that reminded Buddha of aging. The second was a sick person that reminded Buddha of pain and disease. The third was a corpse that reminded Buddha of…
Life Course Interview Synthesizes Personal
The entire look and feel of Kunming was different because of the way factories were developed and houses were built. People had fewer options and opportunities. In spite of the hardships that communism posed for Chan and her family, she remained strong. She never lost hope that one day she would start a new business. It was years before her dream came true, and it was not easy. The move to the United States was challenging because it made Chan feel "like a baby, starting again." She had no friends and only a few family members to help her. Gradually, though, she put together the financing for the business. She viewed it as a matter of personal pride but also as a way to leave something to her grandchildren. Chan illustrates how women can balance family and career and not succumb to the social pressures that suggest that business is…
Life You Have Always Wanted
This is a very important concept that has not been touched upon in the book but can actually serve as an impetus for good in one's life. Religious counseling is an important field and one that works on the same principles as general counseling but integrates religion into it. When a Christian counselor works on the mind of his patient/client, the key objective is to align them to the teachings in the scripture without intimidating the client. In other words, it is the job of the counselor to learn as much as he/she can about the behavior, values and attitude including mindset of the client by providing a trustworthy and comfortable environment. Focus is placed on facilitation of communication where the client talks feeling completely safe in the presence of the counselor. He is given the maximum opportunity to express his views on various things in order to seek his…
Life and Death Through the
It is impossible for science to "overtake" the light but not impossible for humans to experience it. hile light is pleasing, it is not lasting for the poet. hen it is no longer present, what remains is something that is almost opposite to light. The poet describes the experience as a "quality of loss / Affecting our content, / As Trade had suddenly encroached / Upon a Sacrament" (17-20). Here we see the emergence of despair and loss when the light is gone. The light is a severe contrast with the darkness alluded to in the other poems mentioned here but above all, the contrast demonstrates the poet's ability to write about diverse topics. Death is a source of inspiration for Emily Dickinson and while this make seem creepy to many readers, it is actually brave for the poet because death, even today, seems taboo for many artists. This may…
Dickinson, Emily. "A Light Exists in Spring." The Complete Poems of Emily
Thomas Johnson. New York: Little, Brown and Company. 1960. Print.
-. "Because I Could Not Stop for Death." The Complete Poems of Emily
Life of Bees Racial Enlightenment
Though her mother had passed, there would be maternal, familial and nurturing love to be found in the warmth and kindness of those whom she would meet here. ith the Black Madonna photograph as a compass and the pressures of the changing Civil Rights climate as a motor, Lily ultimately had found personal redemption in the implications of both. It is no matter of coincidence that the author so aggressively intertwined the conditions of Lily's confrontation of her own demons concerning the death of her mother with the personal revelations that, on a broad social scale, underscored the Civil Rights Movement as a whole. Indeed, the resolution finds Lily in a place of relative emotional equanimity, having confronted the truth about her mother, having faced the anger of her father and having ultimately settled on her life in the Boatright's community. Accordingly, "August and her community become Lily's new family,…
Flanagan, M. (2002). Review: The Secret Life of Bees. About Contemporary Literature. Online at http://contemporarylit.about.com/cs/currentreviews/fr/secretLifeOfBee.htm
HCRHS. (2007). The Secret Life of Bees Weblog. Hunterdon Central Regional High School.
Horn, J. 2008). 'Secret Life of Bees' is a test case for mainstream appeal. Los Angeles Times. Online at http://articles.latimes.com/2008/oct/16/entertainment/et-word16
Kidd, Sue Monk. (2003). The Secret Life of Bees. Penguin.
Life in College Throws Communication
At the same time, a series of interrelated events occur between the communication partners over time and space. The active sender is comprised of encoder / interpretation / decoder. The passive-recipient, on the other hand, constitutes decoder / interpreter / encoder. Similar to the Shannon & eaver theory, each encodes and decodes the message according to her own interpretation of content. Ultimately, communication is made up of signs. It is we who invest it with meaning and who provide those signs (or symbols) with a referent. The person on the other end (the decoder) cannot always understand the referent, or, if of a different culture, may have no knowledge of that referent altogether. Language is also diachronic, meaning that is constantly in flux from situation to situation. Thinking of the gap in the middle as well as the attendant 'noise' and the fact that the recipient always changes helps us…
Davis, Alanah. "Media Richness Theory." Theories Used in IS Research. Appalachian State University, 2 Feb. 2006. Web. 08 Mar. 2012. .
Heath, R.L., & Jennings B. (2000). Human Communication Theory and Research: Concepts, Contexts, and Challenges. 2nd ed. Mahwah, NJ: L. Erlbaum.
Lee, Jaesub. Chapter 2 Anatomy of the Communication Process. PowerPoint.
Lee, Jaesub. Chapter 4 Information and Systems. PowerPoint.
Life Is Ironic Speech Life
What's more embarrassing is that I had to sit in the front row so I ended up like a superstar being watched by the whole class. It was not fun. It really wasn't. But in the end I think it is better to be looked over than to be overlooked. And if my classmates would talk about me, well, I would say, "there is only one thing in life worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about." I am glad I am at the better side. When I was younger, my mother would always tell me, "Son, honesty is the best policy. If you are honest, people may cheat you, but be honest anyway." George Washington once said "it is better to offer no excuse than a bad one." I believe that's true, very true actually. But a voice keeps telling me to remain silent and…
Life A Philosophical Perspective the
In this example, morality is decided by the gain, pleasure, and other self-interest of the individual donning the ring. Such individuals would more than likely obtain this gain by committing illicit activities, such as robbing a bank, but use their winnings for fairly self-absorbed means to further their consumption of whatever suits their fancy. Houses, cars, women and other material items would more than likely be procured, for the simple fact that the individual is sating his own personal desires. In this case there is no need to act ethically, since the bearer of the ring is outside of the judgment (both literally and figuratively) of others, whose morals no longer apply to that individual. The Rashomon effect describes the degree of subjectivity involved in the recollection of a memory, and is what is attributed to the fact that different people may recall the same incident with conflicting descriptions of…
1. Singer, Peter. How Are We To Live? (1995). New York: Prometheus Books
My Mortality and the Meaning of My Life
life is an issue that has been plaguing thoughtful people since the first Cro-magnons evolved into modern homo sapiens with the power to think rationally and creatively, and most importantly, self-consciously. Aside from humorous attempts to explain the meaning of life such as Monty Python's movie The Meaning of Life, the question is a serious one. It cuts to the core of every human life, causing the individual to question his or her purpose and mode of living. Many people look to religious guidance as a means of discovering meaning in life, and religion remains the most effective way of providing people with a roadmap. Even if the absolute meaning of life is not revealed, we can at least learn to accept that God has a plan and that plan is inherently meaningful. Philosophers, however, have debated the efficacy of religion's ability to provide life with meaning. Existentialism is the…
Baggani, J. (2004). Revealed -- the meaning of life. The Guardian. Retreived online: http://www.guardian.co.uk/theguardian/2004/sep/20/features11.g2
Colls, T. (2011). Does science have all the answers? BBC. Retrieved online: http://news.bbc.co.uk/today/hi/today/newsid_9410000/9410486.stm
Frankl, V. (2006/1959). Man's Search for Meaning. Boston: Beacon.
'How Andrea Yates Lives, And Lives with Herself, a Decade Later," (2012). The Atlantic. Retrieved online: http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2012/03/how-andrea-yates-lives-and-lives-with-herself-a-decade-later/254302/
How Does a Person Live Meaningful Life
Life How Does a Person Live a Meaningful Life? One of the questions which have perplexed humankind is how to live a meaningful life. This is because there have been a number of theorists and philosophers, who provided insights about the best ways to achieve these objectives. Over the centuries, these views are constantly shifting. This is because experiences and social attitudes will shape a person's insights. To fully understand the meaning of life requires focusing on key ideas from the different philosophers. This will be accomplished by discussing central figures from each module in terms of their contribution, the pros / cons of their ideas and how this relates to their understanding of life. Together, these different elements will illustrate how each one of these theories is influencing the way someone can live a fulfilling life. Epictetus -- Freedom Epictetus is focused on several different areas to provide a…
Dostoevsky. (2013). You Tube. Retrieved from: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8EhLe6p4YjE
Epictetus -- Freedom. (2013). You Tube. Retrieved from: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MKZVqIGkLnk
Michelangelo. (2013). You Tube. Retrieved from: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ioK-NxISgM8
Mother Teresa. (2013). You Tube. Retrieved from: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=53bMbKv2_1A
Gordon Mathews What Makes Life Worth Living
Life worth Living In order for life to be worth living it should have a purpose and for our life to be meaningful we must have some aspiration that makes it worthwhile. A life without any purpose or aim is futile. Different individuals have different factors that add meaning to their life. Meaningfulness is an essential component of our life. It gives us the hope, determination and passion to achieve the things that we believe make our life complete. Most of the people fail to find a purpose for their life and lead a meaningless life. They have nothing to strive for and to achieve. This is because people usually wait for that purpose and they believe that it will come to them by itself. Adding meaning to our life does not necessarily mean that we must achieve something in return. Sometimes giving something to the outside world, to our…
Matthews, G. (1996). What makes life worth living? (1st ed., Vol. 1, pp. 1-425). Berkeley: University of California Press.
Victor Frankl-Mans Search for Meaning
This sense of leading a purposeful life sustained Frankl in the concentration camps during orld ar II. There he witnessed other Jews finding meaning in their lives. Some men found that their love for their wives made life meaningful while others found meaning in religious faith. Finding meaning in the world helped them cope with what would otherwise be unbearable sorrow and travails. Frankl believed that the super-meaning of life, the ultimate purpose of human existence could only be understood or put into words by ordinary people. The super-meaning of life was infinite, but the human capacity to understand the world beyond our own narrow terms and limits was finite (Hanes 2001). Still, human beings must try to make limited meaning out of their lives to be psychologically healthy and to make the most of human existence. orks Cited Hanes, Martin. (2001). "Man's Search for Meaning." orld Religions. Retrieved 27…
Hanes, Martin. (2001). "Man's Search for Meaning." World Religions. Retrieved 27 Nov 2007 at http://www.worldreligions.psu.edu/frankl.htm
Mortality and Life eview For most of us, a sense of impending mortality prompts a need to find closure, conduct a full life review and reconciliation (Clarke, 2007). The reality that death is a natural process -- leading towards an inescapable final destination -- seems implausible at first glance. For a variety of reasons, death has become a taboo subject that no longer represents an accepted progression of life, but something unnatural to be wrestled against. Coming to terms with impending mortality is challenging and calls forth a range of deep emotions that need to be expressed. Expressing these intense feelings and reviewing one's life is essential to finding peace and allowing true healing on an emotional and spiritual level (Sand et al., 2009). The definition of the life review process is described as a "naturally occurring, universal mental process" (Butler, 1963). In other words, it is a normal developmental…
Breitbart, W., Gibson, C., Poppito, S., & Berg, A. (2004). Psychotherapeutic Interventions at the end of life: A focus on meaning and spirituality. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 49(6), 336-372.
Butler, R.N. (1963). The life review: An interpretation of reminiscence in the aged. Psychiatry, 26, 65-75.
Carlander, I., Ternestedt, B., Sahlberg-Blom, E., Hellstrom, I., & Sandberg, J. (2011). Being Me and Being Us in a Family Living Close to Death at Home. Qualitative Health Research, 21(5), 683-695. doi:10.1177/1049732310396102.
Clarke, D. (2007). Growing old and getting sick: Maintaining a positive spirit at the end of life. Australian Journal of Rural Health, 15, 148-154.
Education and Meaning
Paradox When Henry Adams described the "task of education" as being "this problem of running order through chaos, direction through space, discipline through freedom, unity through-multiplicity," it appears that he was referring to something that people today would more readily refer to as the meaning of life. This may seem a loose phrase that risks cliche, but in fact it is the easiest way to make sense of Adams's set of paradoxes about education. After all, the events of life are a pure chaos of one event after another, unless one has obtained the mental criteria to evaluate them. Similarly, life is directionless unless one has a specific purpose, and life is marked by a bewildering freedom of options unless one is restricted to certain choices, and life can appear as numerous unique phenomena unless we have learned to recognize the underlying patterns and categories in those events. In some…
Jewish Faith Passion for Meaning
Thus, God represents a loving, kind, and good man, but He is also a just man, and therefore, his chosen people must be just and fair as well. They also saw great meaning in all the happenings around them, and felt God was sending them a message to act justly and if they did not, they would pay the price. Justice and morality ensured their stability and so, they maintained the standard of justice and gave it premier meaning in their lives. They understood they must be merciful and just, and that they must suffer, as well. To be the chosen people is not easy, they have to live up to the task, and their meaning and belief in God and justice helped them feel worthy. Perhaps the thing that most sets the Jews apart and helps indicate their faith is their long-standing reverence for tradition. They have created historic…
Psychology of Happiness and a Life Well-Lived
Psychology of Happiness and a Life Well-Lived In this paper, I have discussed that happiness as well as morality (meaningful purpose) are actually the ultimate goals and the true sign of a life well-lived. I have tried to explain how morality must be considered as the most important factor to signify a well-lived life. I have also given the ideas of Aristotle and Plato regarding morality and happiness and have tried to assess the literature on my chosen factor. If we ask people to elaborate the definition of a well-lived life, we would surely get very different answers. For some, money will be considered as the means to be happy and successful; others may count recognition of peers as the basis of a well-lived life. A well-designed and useful product will be the success for some; for others it can be a beautiful garden. Good relationships would be a mode…
Aristotle. (2007). Nicomachean Ethics. New York: Cosimo. (Original work published 1911)
Burns, R.P. (2008). On the Foundations and Nature of Morality. Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy, 31(1), 7+. Retrieved July 23, 2013, from http://www.questia.com/read/1G1-175875950/on-the-foundations-and-nature-of-morality
Cameron, D. (2007, May 7). Aristotle Got It Right; Well-Being, Not Just Wealth, Should Mark the Progress of Our Societies. Newsweek International, 1. Retrieved July 21, 2013, from http://www.questia.com/read/1G1-162808221/aristotle-got-it-right-well-being-not-just-wealth
Estrem, P. (2010, August). Changing Course: If You Never Take Time to Assess Where You Are vs. Where You Really Want to Be, You Could Be Missing out. Regain Your Bearings and Get on Course for Your Most Fulfilling Life. Success, 1, 52+. Retrieved July 21, 2013, from http://www.questia.com/read/1G1-232305677/changing-course-if-you-never-take-time-to-assess
Role as a Nurse Life Helper in a
Role as a Nurse/Life Helper in a Long-Term Care Facility Nursing in a long-term care facility would be the prescription for burnout and depression for many people. And yet, it is an essential activity in the current society. There are ways to approach the profession, however, that help explain its purpose and also allow the nurse to place his or her activities into a context at once useful and conceptual. There are traditions from almost every philosophy and religion that point to the same things; the value of service, humility, compassion, and transcendence all arising out of the desire to do good works (nursing) and the will to create the skills necessary to do those works. A knowledge of some of these is essential to place the activities of nursing into a scheme that will give the best result possible for all concerned, the nurse, the patient, the patient's family…
Bajunid, Ibrahim Ahmad. 2004. "The meaning of active citizenship." New Straits Times, 14 March 2004.
Barber, Benjamin. 1994. "Theory and practice: democracy and the philosophers. (2,500 Years of Democracy)" History Today, 1 August 1994.
Hegevary, Sue Thomas. 2002. "How nursing matters."
Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 22 December 2002. Database online accessed 19 March 2004.
Philosophy of Life
Philosophies of Life: Personal and Traditional hen one considers the many aspects of one's "inner life," it becomes clear that most, if not all of them are based upon some philosophical conception. Psychologists have long known that individuals, who have a strong sense of their life's purpose, as well as a spiritual, religious, or ethical viewpoint, tend to live longer, healthier lives. Further, they are less likely to suffer from depressive episodes (Hassad, 2000). Although each person's individual "philosophy of life" is different, there are some well-known philosophical interpretations that can shed some light upon common attitudes concerning personal identity. Six famous life philosophies are attributed to Socrates, Freud, Albert Camus, Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, and Muhammad. Although there are several ways in which one can interpret the meaning of life and personal identity, perhaps one of the most useful steps one can take in the process is to recognize…
Locke, John. "Some Thoughts Concerning Education." 1693. Retrieved from Web site on May 3, 2005< http://www.socsci.kun.nl/ped/whp/histeduc/locke/locke052.html
Hassad, Craig J. "Depression: dispirited or spiritually deprived?" Medical Journal of Australia. 2000. Web site. Retrieved on May 3, 2005 http://www.mja.com.au/public/issues/173_10_201100/hassed/hassed.html
Todd, Oliver. "Albert Camus: A Life." Knopf. New York. 1997.
Tree of Life Worth Watching
Tree of Life is, in fact, a mini-journey -- not through Heaven and Hell -- but through time and space: we witness the creation of the world, a segment of life in 1956 Texas, and the Resurrection at the end of the world. atching Tree of Life is less like watching a film than it is like contemplating and meditating upon the meaning of life itself. As Roger Ebert said, the film is a prayer -- and for that reason, one's engagement with it depends upon one's desire to communicate with the Divinity, whose presence is at the heart of the narrative. The narrative of Tree of Life is another thing that is non-traditional. The plot is non-linear: it flashes through points in time in disorienting ways to show that time itself is fleeting and that only the soul is eternal -- therefore, prime importance should be given to the…
Ebert, Roger. "A Prayer beneath The Tree of Life." Chicago Sun-Times. 17 May 2011.
Web. 23 June 2011.
Labrecque, Jeff. "Tree of Life: What is Terrence Malick's summer opus really about?"
28 Apr 2011. EW.com. Web. 23 June 2011.
Characteristics Fulfillment in Life the Aim of
Characteristics Fulfillment in Life The aim of this discussion to ascertain three of the qualities a person needs so that they can lead a life of fulfillment. The three qualities discussed will be love, integrity and knowledge. These three traits are part of the essence of being human and, combined with other humanistic traits such as sympathy and passion, these traits separate humans from the other, soulless animals in the world. The first of these qualities to discuss is love. Love is a quality that no life can be without. The ability to build nurturing and loving relationships with another person is integral to our emotional fulfillment. It brings us the greatest joy we can possibly experience. Love can do many things including alleviating loneliness, such as the kind of "terrible loneliness in which one's shivering consciousness looks over the rim of the world into the cold, unfathomable abyss" (ussell,…
Carter, S.L. (February 1996). The Insufficiency of Honesty. Atlantic Monthly, 74-76.
Russell, B. (1967). Autobiography of Bertrand Russell. London: Allen & Unwin.
Man's Search for Meaning Reader's
But whether it is suitable for all remains in doubt. An individual searching for a meaningful occupation after college, for example, or who has just lost a loved one and cannot stop asking 'why,' may benefit from the presumptions of logotherapy. However, an individual seeking an immediate solution to a psychological problem of a specific onset and duration may require a form of therapy that is more directed. Individuals who are not particularly articulate about their feelings, or who find the implications of religion or philosophy intimidating might be stymied rather than encouraged to open up with the theory's stress upon philosophy and larger, rather than immediate context of their problems. Under the most extreme circumstances, Frankl stresses, one can find a will to survive, if one has a reason to do so. For a therapist, he or she must find such a reason within the patient's psyche and life…
Frankl, Victor. Man's Search For Meaning. New York: Pocket Books Reprint Edition, 1997.
Genesis and the Meaning of
After finishing chapter 1 of Genesis it seemed clear that when God created human beings it was with the intention of their purpose being to master and reign over the world. During chapter 2, the clarity of this meaning becomes a bit more muddled. e are left with the uncertain conclusion that God's creation needed regular upkeep and that humankind was put on the earth to make sure that it happened. Some theologians have argued that the subsequent naming of all of the animals in Genesis 2:19-20 suggests dominion over the world through the act of naming. However, in contrast to the explicit earthly authority granted humans in Genesis chapter 1, the "power to name animals" rings a bit hollow. Nonetheless, despite these contradictions between chapters 1 and 2 in Genesis, a rough picture of the purpose -- if not the explicit meaning -- of life for human beings takes…
"Genesis." The Bible. [client should insert remaining citation information for this source, which was provided]
Lewis, Shannon. "The Meaning of Life; the Image of God." For What it's Worth. 31 Aug. 2007. 26 Feb. 2008 .
Jesus' Teachings Prayer & Christian Life He
Jesus' Teachings, Prayer, & Christian Life "He (Jesus) Took the Bread. Giving Thanks Broke it. And gave it to his Disciples, saying, 'This is my Body, which is given to you.'" At Elevation time, during Catholic Mass, the priest establishes a mandate for Christian Living. Historically, at the Last Supper, Christ used bread and wine as a supreme metaphor for the rest of our lives. Jesus was in turmoil. He was aware of what was about to befall him -- namely, suffering and death. This was the last major lesson he would teach before his arrest following Judas' betrayal. Eschatologically speaking, the above set the stage for the Christian ministry of the apostles, evangelists and priests. Indeed, every Christian is called to give of him or herself for the Glory of God and the Glory of Mankind. The message at the Last Supper was powerful. People have put themselves through…
Myth and Meaning
Constructed Myths and Man's Purpose Since Nietzsche declared that God was dead, science and mankind have begun a twofold search. Nietzsche's declaration asserted that the need for God in the society's constructed identity no longer existed. The understanding of the times was that the scientific method could break down any problem into is components, and uncover both the purpose and the source of all of mankind's desires, tangible and intangible alike. The accompanying hopes for a utopian society would also be ushered in by modern thought. Modern, logical and rational thought would be able to replace oppressive superstition, religious, and myth of ignorant and uneducated people who used religious beliefs to explain those elements of life which previously could not be understood. Since the publishing of his work, along with Jung, Kant and a myriad of others, the social sciences have searched to identify the purpose of religious life within…
Barrett, J.L. Anthropomorphism, intentional agents, and conceptualizing God. Ph.D. dissertation, Cornell University. 1996
EC. Keil Conceptualizing a non-natural entity: anthropomorphism in God concepts. Cognitive Psychology 31, 219-47. 1996
Blommaert, J. & J. Verschueren. European concepts of nation-building. In E.N. Wilmsen & P. McAllister (eds) The politics of difference: ethnic premises in a world of power, 104-23. Chicago & London: University of Chicago Press. 1996
Boyer, P. Traditions as Truth and Communication. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1992
Religion & Life Cycle Different Religious Visions
Religion & Life Cycle Different religious visions, different life cycles: The religious experience according to Rosenstock-Huessey and the Medicine Rite Religion has always been the binding force that enabled humanity to create meaning in their lives and maintain unity among them. As a way of expressing spiritual reality, religion is instrumental in providing humanity a way of converting into concrete form (i.e., rituals and religious symbols) the different emotions associated to one's belief in a religion. Perhaps one of the most important functions that religion has for humanity is that it is able to depict humanity as the most important creature that the Supreme Being (or God) had created in the universe. That in our attempt to give meaning and purpose in life, we humans subsist to religion in order to validate that we, indeed, matter the most to God above anything else. This spiritual reality, despite its selfish nature,…
Analyzing the Good Life
Good Life What is Good Life? The Consequentialism Debate Utilitarian reasoning is regarded as "consequentialist." The other approach of human actions' analysis is called "deontologist" reasoning. Utilitarian and deontological reasoning have very little in common. They are similar only in the sense that they both attempt to establish which human actions are appropriate and which ones are not. Apart from that, there is no other similarity. The differences arise in their adopted approaches in attempting to establish and distinguish the right actions and behavior from what is wrong (van Staveren, 2007). As the term implies, judgments of "consequentiality" are founded on the consequences of an individual's actions. Here, an action is categorized as right or wrong based on the results of actions. Its ethics have nothing to do with whatever the individual intended to do. Taking an extreme case, assume that I am driving and I notice a person I…
Adams, R. M. (2006) A theory of virtue, New York: Oxford University Press.
Annas, J. (2011) Intelligent virtue, New York: Oxford University Press.
Baier, A. (1994). Moral Prejudices: Essays on Ethics. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Clark, G. (1992). Can Moral Education be Grounded on Naturalism?," Essays on Ethics and Politics, Jefferson, MD: The Trinity Foundation, 7-8.
Camus the Search for Meaning
" By imagining Sisyphus happy, it then becomes possible to find our own happiness in no matter what situation. Camus begins his argument with a powerful statement about suicide, noting that it is the most important of all philosophical problems. The question of suicide cuts to the core of whether life has any meaning. If life has no meaning then it only makes sense to end the life, and seek meaning elsewhere. Camus claims that accepting absurdity negates the function of suicide, and renders suicide itself an absurdity. To commit suicide is no different than perpetuating blind and useless faith in an abstract God. Both acts entail surrendering the personal will. Suicide and blind faith both deny personal responsibility and instead project and expect meanings onto the universe. Camus' argument is self-empowering. Instead of having faith or hope, holding out for the revelation of true meaning, the individual has the…
Camus, Albert. The Myth of Sisyphus.
Rise of Silas Lapham Life
This is when Silas realizes the larger principle of happiness and welfare. A realization that is confirmed by Sewell, the minister. As a result, Lapham endorses Tom and Penelope's union so that two people could be happy instead of a marriage that would ultimately cause unhappiness for all the parties involved. Silas Lapham is also forced to face up to the truth about himself when his business begins to flounder. for, this is when he realizes that no man can be an island, and that humans have to necessarily depend on each other for their existence as well as progress. Thus, when he is faced with a situation where his ex-business partner, Rogers, and some English agents are willing to purchase his mill property at a price far higher than its true worth, he refuses to do so on pure principle. This, in spite of the fact that the situation…
Howells, W.D. The Rise of Silas Lapham. Penguin, 1986.
The Antonym of Life
Recurring Western Preoccupation One of the most frequently recurring themes in Westernized culture is that of death. This motif is certainly evinced in a number of forms of literature -- particularly those esteemed to possess literary value -- including Leo Tolstoy's "Death of Ivan Ilyich" and in Henrik Ibsen's "Hedda Gabler." Death dominates the plot of both of these works of literature. There are multiple deaths in Ibsen's work, whereas the protagonist in Tolstoy's realizes early on that he is fated to die and the proverbial shadow of death looms over the ensuing pages. An analysis of the thematic device of death and its importance in both of these works reveals that it largely functions as a petty escape in Ibsen's text, and is a means to a more profound level of transcendence in that of Tolstoy. There is a point of despair that accompanies both of the deaths portrayed…
Lives of Women in Archaic
Some Ancient Greeks even went as far as to think that women started to have deeper voices consequent to the moment when they lost their virginity (King 28). Euripides also acts as one of the principal Ancient Greek scholars who damaged the role of women in his society, given that his writings relate to the role of women as individuals who are generally persecuted by the masses. omen were practically promoted as being responsible for society's problems as characters like Hippolytus put across their opinion concerning females and actually insisted that gods inflicted great damage on humanity through introducing women (Euripides 18). Ancient Greeks seem to express no interest in acknowledging the role of women as housewives and mothers and focus on presenting them as useless individuals who spend most of their time consuming and generally having a negative influence on the public. Hipponax perfectly (although he somewhat exaggerates) describes…
Aristotle, "Politics," Echo Library, 2006
Demosthenes, "Against Neaera," Retrieved January 17, 2012, from the Perseus Digital Library Website: http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.01.0080%3Aspeech%3D59%3Asection%3D3
Euripides, "Hippolytus," Hayes Barton Press.
King, Helen, "Hippocrates' Woman: Reading the Female Body in Ancient Greece," London: Routledge, 1998
Meaning of a Biblical Passage
Scripture The process of studying Scripture usually requires and involves more than reading surface text because an individual has to conduct an in-depth study. An in-depth study of text is a necessary process towards understanding the meaning of a passage from Scripture and grasping it fully. In essence, for an individual to gain a rich understanding of the meaning of a passage from a Scripture from different perspectives, it is important to conduct an in-depth study rather than just surface reading of the text. One of the most important aspects of gaining understanding of the meaning of a text is identifying who or what determines the meaning of that passage from the Bible. There are several exegetical methodologies and methods for Biblical interpretation that help in in-depth study of Scripture in order to know its meaning. Biblical Interpretation There are different methods of Biblical interpretation that are utilized to help…
Life That What Once May Have Been
life that what once may have been a derogatory word for something may have, over the years, come to mean something entirely different, and in a similar fashion, what was once a term of endearment or something commonplace may have evolved through the years, into something that would have derogatory connotations. (World Wide Words) For example, when one interviewer asked an American about the origin of the word 'Bozo', he had to refer to a Dictionary, and what he was about to discover amazed him. This was because of the fact that most Dictionaries tended to avoid the word Bozo for some reason or another, giving a vague and uncertain 'origin uncertain' as the explanation. As a matter of fact, the term Bozo seems to have initially appeared in the year 1916, and one of the first meanings for the word probably meant 'man' or a 'fellow'. Later on, it…
Is Refugee a Racist Term, Jesse Jackson seems to think so. 6 September, 2005. Retrieved
From http://www.metafilter.com/mefi/44884 Accessed 21 September, 2005
Morse, Caroll Andrew. No Refugees in America. 7 September, 2005. Retrieved From
http://www.techcentralstation.com/090705J.html Accessed 21 September, 2005
Life What Kind of an
Still, Goffman's point is, when both members of the team play their roles that send a message that those new people in the audience will now expect to see. This is "team performance" and in this case, and others like it, each member of the team has the power to ruin the show, or keep it on track, by his or her behavior. This is the "bond of reciprocal dependence" (p. 82). In Chapter III ("Regions and Region Behavior") there is more to learn, this time about "regions" (such as a cocktail party where several couples gather in one room in "subgroups" which "constantly shift in size and membership") (107). People talking and responding to others in regions are actually putting on a performance. Some realize it, some don't. Decorum is the expected polite behavior while in a region. "Make-work" is the performance that workers put on when the supervisor…
Goffman, Erving. 1959. The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life. New York: Doubleday
Life I Can Cite an
I would incorporate much in the way of nonverbal communication to entice the students to remain engaged while listening to what I had to say. I think the best method of deliverance would be the use of live communication followed up by literature the students would take with them. The use of media, including interviews with other students and their experiences with drug and alcohol abuse would be relevant and useful in this context. Using the Yale attitude changing approach, I would establish credibility by approaching students as a peer and victim of abuse; the messages I provided would allow for two sides of the argument, meaning students could offer their own objections to what it is I had to say. The messages given would be of support rather than designed to persuade students directly, so I would take a peripheral route to persuasion. Using these methods and approaches will…
Atwood, K.D. (2006,) Recognition of facial expressions of six emotions by children with specific language impairment. Brigham Young University. Retrieved November 2, 2007: http://contentdm.lib.byu.edu/ETD/image/etd1501.pdf
Block, L.B. & Keller, P.A. (1997), Effects of self-efficacy and vividness on the persuasiveness of health communications. Journal of Consumer Psychology, 6(1): 31.
Murphy, N.A. (2007). Appearing smart: The impression management of intelligence, person perception accuracy, and behavior in social interaction. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 33(3): 325-39.
Life Situation Can Create a
The objective is to impede rumination. 3. In the third stage -- relapse prevention or rehabilitation -- Mr. Thomas will be encouraged to participate in activities (such as hobbies that he enjoys, listening to music, socializing, his work and so forth) and to move towards increased interest in his work, and other components of his life outside of his depressing domestic situation. The whole model would focus around prevention and intervention where prevention aims at reducing the individual's psychobiological vulnerability (via for instance reducing the stress facing Mr. Thomas by enlisting the aid, for instance, of his children and coworkers) whilst intervention seeks to strengthen that same vulnerability (via for instance cognitive-behavioral techniques or other depression-reducing interventions). oemtiems, conflicts in commucantion occur inthis type sof stiaution when ethical condudresm are invoeld such as a perosn wishing to die whislt eveyroen else wants her to live on, or the gnawing unceratiny…
Berne, D. Games People Play. Grove Press, Inc., 1954
Couric, K. (2011) The best advice I ever got: Lessons from extraordinary lives. NY: Random House
Goulston, M. (2010). Just listen USA: AMACOM
Jaffe, C. & Ehrlich, C.H. (1997). All kinds of love: Experiencing hospice. New York,
Lives Is a 1946 Film by Director
Lives is a 1946 film by director William Wyler. The story traces the lives of three soldiers who return home after the end of World War Two. The soldiers' names are Fred Derry (played by Dana Andrews), Homer Parrish (Harold ussell), and Al Stephenson (Fredric March). One of the main themes of The Best Years of Our Lives is how difficult it can be for an individual to adjust to a "normal" life after living a life consumed by combat. The title of the movie refers to the fact that soldiers often lose the best years of their lives to war. War has the potential to tear apart families. For example, Al is married to Milly, and has two children: Peggy and ob. Although his life seems normal on the surface, it is apparent that like his fellow G.I.s, Al has post-traumatic stress disorder. He drinks more than he should…
Wyler, William. The Best Years of Our Lives. Feature film. 1946.
Life Captures a Very Important Moment in
Life captures a very important moment in Chinese history, when the Three Gorges dam flooded an area of the Yangtze. Ancient and traditional villages were wiped away, displacing over one million people and forever transforming the idyllic landscape of this region of China. The filmmaker captures the beauty -- both the lost beauty and the eternal beauty -- of this region. Scenery shots are not the only compelling thing about Still Life, however. This is a film about people. I especially appreciated the filmmaker's ability to blend the stories of the individuals within their natural, social, economic, and political environments. I care about the people because they seem real, as the acting is subtle and it almost feels as if we are watching a documentary at times. I also like the fact that the film captures the nature of Chinese culture as being very long-term oriented, which is why the…
Lives of Two Women Depicted in Separate
lives of two women depicted in separate books. The writer explores the way they suffered as well the struggles they went through during their lives. The writer uses each book to show how much of a struggle life can be as one ages through their life. There were two sources used to complete this paper. Authors of literature who want to become successful use their talents to show the reader a story. Many times the element that makes a book a classic is the fact that the human element become involved therefore the reader gets attached to the story and the characters that are in the story. In the Time Of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez and Searching for Life: The Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo and the Disappeared Children of Argentina by ita Arditti the authors draw the readers in until they become attached to the ladies of…
The Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo and the Disappeared Children of Argentina by Rita Arditti.
In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez.Plume; Reprint edition (August 1995)
Lives of Welfare Recipients Investigating
275). By conducting a peer led focus group the interaction between the participants allows for sharing of stories and experiences and opens up the lines for a deeper, more meaningful discussion. Instead of the participants directing their responses to questions and statements asked of the researcher to the researcher, participants will be able to converse with one another. The researcher will still be a part of the focus group, but his role will not be as prominent as it would be in a traditional style focus group. Instead, the researcher will observe, take notes and steer the group in the right direction if they start to discuss other topics which are not a part of the study. Conclusion Because this research deals with the dynamics of welfare recipients as opposed to how many people are on welfare, a qualitative approach is best. The only information that could be dealt with…
Berg, B.L. (2009). Qualitative research methods for the social sciences (7th edition ed.). Boston, Mass.: Allyn and Bacon.
Childstats.gov - America's Children in Brief: Key National Indicators of Well-Being, 2010 - Economic Circumstances. (n.d.). Childstats.gov - Home. Retrieved December 8, 2010, from http://www.childstats.gov/americaschildren/eco.asp
Lofland, J., Snow, D.A., Anderson, L., & Lofland, L.H. (2005). Analyzing social settings: A guide to qualitative observation and analysis (4th ed. ed.). Gwenn Wilson: Wadsworth Publishing.
Murray, C. (2006). Peer led focus groups and young people. Children and Society, 20(4), 273-286.
Life Long Learning Has Been
The beginning of the essay focuses on the formulation of the thesis statement that ensures that the idea of the essay is sent across to the audience. Therefore, the beginning is the part of the essay that should capture most of the thinking process because it also outlines the way in which the essay would be later developed and constructed. Another part that is crucial in the writing process is the one related to the construction of coherent paragraphs and proper combination of simple yet strong sentences. In this sense, each paragraph should have an opening statement that announces the idea of the paragraph. The supporting sentences should be simple, yet able to provide the added value each paragraph should bring to the construction of the essay. From this point-of-view, the sequence of paragraphs in the essay is extremely important and should be thought of from the very beginning. Finally,…
Meaning Rationale Principle Separate Corporation Personality
Corporate Personality Separate Corporate Personality Explain the meaning of and the rationale for the principle of separate corporation personality. Personality in this case does not have anything to do with an actual person, but that personhood is given to something. Also, this does not mean that the corporation in question has the traits or quirks given to it by the people who work there. The concept of identity in the corporate realm is something else entirely. The concept of separate corporate personality can be equated to the fact that an individual has and individual personality, and that no one else is responsible for what that individual does or says. The fault or benefit is that person's alone. A separate corporate personality means that the corporation is an entity that is separate and that the component parts that make up the organization are not responsible, legally, for any action taken against…
Balmer, M.T., & Wilson, A. (1998). Corporate identity: There is more to it than meets the eye. International Studies of Organization & Management, 28(3), 12-23.
Harris, R. (2006). The transplantation of legal discourse on corporate personality theories: From German codification to British pluralism and American big business. Washington & Lee Law Review, 63, 1421-1478.
Ilg, M. (2008). An equity rationale for the enforcement of the corporate veil? The Alberta Court of Appeal considers a joint venture agreement in the shadow of corporate reorganization. Retrieved from http://ablawg.ca/wp- content/uploads/2008/04/mi_apex_ceco_april17.pdf
Jones v. Lipman. (1962). 1 WLR 832.
Meaning of Gregor Samsa's Bug Form in Frantz Kafka's the Metamorphosis
waking up one morning and suddenly you are a bug. Last night, when you went to sleep you were an ordinary man. Today, you're a bug. Gregor Samsa does just that, and suddenly his life is thrown completely off track. No longer is he the sole breadwinner for his mother, father and sister. He is now the burden that they have been to him. His mundane job as a traveling salesman has been replaced with the confusing life he lives as a bug. It is this image of the bug he has become that is the focus of Frank Kafka, and it is the bug that represents Gregor's ultimate desire to no longer bear the responsibility of a family, and what eventually brings his family's true character to light. Gregor is not the narrator in the story, but the narrator is right along with Gregor through his discoveries of his…
Life and Works of Edward Taylor
Edward Taylor Education Private Life Profession Purpose of orks Intended audience Central goal of writings riting Style Early works Comparison between writings in England and America Comparison to other authors Personal Style Use of Imagery Major Themes Major orks Preparatory Meditations God's Determinations Other works Taylor's orks Compared The Life and orks of Edward Taylor No study of Puritan literature would be complete without the works of the man often called the best Puritan writer of them all, Edward Taylor. Except for a brief few, the works of this great Puritan author remained unpublished during his lifetime. In 1939, they were discovered by Thomas H. Johnson at Yale, and have since become a valued and praised addition to the other works from the Puritan era. So important are these works that the Norton editors refer to them as "one of the major literary discoveries of the twentieth century" (Rowe). These…
Doepke, Dale. "Suggestion for Reading Edward Taylor's "The Preface." Early American Literature V.3 (1970): 80-82.
Grabo, Norman S. Edward Taylor. New York: Twayne Publishers, 1962.
Schuldiner, Michael. "Edward Taylor's "Problematic" Imagery." Early American Literature 13.1 (1978): 92-101.
Rowe, Karen. Edward Taylor (1642? -- 1729). Online. Georgetown University. Internet. 11 February 2002. Available http://www.georgetown.edu/bassr/heath/syllabuild/iguide/taylor.html .
Life and Time of Jesus
Jesus Although many modern Christians do not realize it, an understanding of Jesus' historical context is extremely helpful, perhaps even essential to true understanding of Christianity. After all, it is only once one understands the geographical, political, religious, and social environment of Jesus' time period that one can truly understand the impact of Jesus Christ. One of the reasons that a historical perspective is important is because many modern-day Christians are separated from their Jewish roots. However, one must always bear in mind that Jesus was not a Christian; Jesus was a Jew and his life and death had been foretold in Jewish prophecies for hundreds of years. In addition: Jesus addressed his gospel- his message of God's imminent kingdom and of judgment, of God's fatherly providence, of repentance, holiness, and love- to his fellow countrymen. He preached only to Jews. Not a syllable shows that he detached this message…
Edersheim, Alfred. The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah. Grand Rapids, MI: Christian
Classics Ethereal Library, 2005. 15 Oct. 2006 http://www.ccel.org/ccel/edersheim/lifetimes.html .
Edersheim, Alfred. Sketches of Jewish Social Life. Grand Rapids, MI: Christian Classics
Ethereal Library, 2005. 15 Oct. 2006 http://www.ccel.org/ccel/edersheim/sketches.toc.html .
Life of Socrates
Socrates Self-knowledge is a prerequisite for wisdom. For Socrates, self-knowledge or self-understanding is the precursor of the ability to probe the world outside of the self. In fact, Socratic wisdom is wisdom that is manifest and known. The Socratic process of probing and inquiry is designed specifically to eliminate that which cannot be known or that which is irrelevant to the pursuit of wisdom and understanding. The process of Socratic dialogue is coupled with the process of arguing ad absurdum, until the kernel of truth remaining after the inquiry may be recognized as wisdom. Yet before a person can even begin to explore the universe, the person must explore the self. The exploration of self is not a narcissistic inquiry but rather, an inquiry into the nature of human being. It is important to understand the human experience, the human mind, and human patterns of perception and cognition. Socrates also…
Hughes, Bettany. The Hemlock Cup. New York: Vintage, 2012.
Kenny, Philip. "Socratic Knowledge and the Daimanion." Aporia. Vol. 13, No. 1, 2003.
Lowe, Kayla. "The Search for Wisdom: Socrates's Life and Mission." Retrieved online: http://voices.yahoo.com/the-search-wisdom-socratess-life-mission-2910852.html?cat=25
Maxwell, Max. "A Socratic Perspective on the Nature of Human Evil." Retrieved online: http://www.socraticmethod.net/socratic_essay_nature_of_human_evil.htm
Life Styles Inventory
obstacles to becoming a successful manager is getting an understanding of one's own innate strengths and weaknesses. While every person may have leadership potential, leadership comes more naturally to some people than to others. Moreover, the best leaders are those who are aware of and capitalize on their own strengths, while taking actions to minimize their own weaknesses. The Life Styles Inventory (LSI) is one tool that people can use to help identify their own innate personal styles and learn how those styles can impact them in their roles as managers and leaders. This paper examines my own LSI scores. Not only does it assess my strengths and weaknesses, but also how those traits fit into my overall character profile. The LSI is broken into three broad categories: constructive styles, passive/defensive styles, and aggressive/defensive styles. The constructive styles reflect positive behaviors and include humanistic-encouraging, affiliative, achievement, and self-actualizing styles. For…
Human Synergistics International. (2014). The achievement-oriented style. Retrieved September 6, 2014 from http://www.humansynergistics.com/
Human Synergistics International. (2014). The oppositional style. Retrieved September 6, 2014 from
Meaning in Geraldo No Last Name
And it is the tragedy of not knowing that Marin imagines in the story's last paragraph, when she envisions the family he left behind in Mexico as they "wonder, shrug, remember" the pretty boy who vanished and was "never heard from…again." Cisneros arranges "Geraldo No Last Name" around two basic structural facts. One is the filtering of the story through Marin's consciousness, so that the subject of the story is not really Geraldo's brief life and death -- it is about what somebody like Marin thinks about when she contemplate somebody like Geraldo. And the second fact is, of course, the emphasis given to the different elements of what Marin considers: in some sense, the sad fact of Geraldo's death is subsidiary to the sad facts of his actual life as an illegal worker in a foreign country, who will die without ever seeing his family again. The fact that…
Cisneros, Sandra. "Geraldo No Last Name." In Wyrick, Jean. Steps to Writing Well. New York: Cengage, 2013. Print.
Cruz, Felicia J. "On the 'Simplicity' of Sandra Cisneros's House on Mango Street." Modern Fiction Studies 47:4 (2001): 910-946. Print.
Harlow, Barbara. "Sites of Struggle: Immigration, Deportation, Prison and Exile." In Calderon, Hector and Saldivar, Jose David, (Editors) Criticism in the Borderlands: Studies in Chicano Literature, Culture, and Ideology. Raleigh-Durham: Duke University Press, 1991. Print.
Meaning of Biology and Its Different Fields
Biology? The word biology means the study of life. It is a combination of "bio," which means "life," and "ology," which means "wisdom" or "science of." Thus, the term itself tells us what its meaning is: it is the science or study of life. However, there are many fields in biology, which look at specific sectors or areas of "life." Because life on this planet is abounding and so complex, it is required that there be several fields of biological science. For instance, marine biology studies life in water (such as in oceans or lakes). Human biology studies the complexities of the human body. Cellular biology takes an even closer look at biological studies by closing in on the activities and structures of cells, which are just one part of life. Advancements in biological knowledge have taken place over many centuries throughout the history of the world. In fact, all…
Editorial Board. (2012). Biology, 1st Edition. IL: Words of Wisdom.
Woods, T. (2005). How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization. DC: Regnery
Post Homework Help ❯
Mythology - Religion
Life It is important to acquire goodness in order to understand the meaning and purpose of life. Distressed and hopeless people do not consider or think about the meaning…
Death and Dying (general)
strong issue with the ideas of David Benatar and James Lenman (1997), which I regard as simply absurd, or more likely a case of academics striking a pose and…
Life Philosophers much older and wiser than I have wrestled with the thorny question of life's meaning, and risen from the mat covered with scratches and welts, but still…
.....deathbed, Morrie reflects on his life, and relays several messages about the meaning or purpose of life. Ironically, one of the main messages of the story is that life…
Life A number of literary, philosophical, psychological, religious and other writers are of the view that the subject of 'the meaning of life' forms one among the most central…
Black Studies - Philosophy
He believed strongly in the government's protection of civil rights and equal opportunities for all its citizens. If a government failed to do so, he called for civil disobedience.…
Life in a Godless orld For as long as mankind has contemplated its own creation philosophers have pondered the meaning of life largely within the context of humanity's relationship…
Frankl, many people seek therapy because of the "feeling of the total and ultimate meaningless of their lives," (p. 62). Frankl mainly refers to the "super-meaning" or to the…
I am the founder and owner of a 25-year-old vocational school and still lecture daily. I have been married to the woman of my dreams for almost 40 years;…
Virginia Woolf, the author focuses her attention on a number of scenes to bring home a central idea to her reader. Through her considerations of people, insects, and a…
Life Is Worth Living People are living longer than ever before. With the advances of medical science, longer and higher quality of lives are more possible than they were…
Women identified their hrist Jesus who was food during mass as the redemption of humanity. The women believed reaching spirituality was through food, since naturally they were food from…
Life of the Buddha: What was the Buddha's name? How else do Buddhists refer to him? His name is Siddhartha Gautama and he is often referred to as…
Family and Marriage
The entire look and feel of Kunming was different because of the way factories were developed and houses were built. People had fewer options and opportunities. In spite of…
This is a very important concept that has not been touched upon in the book but can actually serve as an impetus for good in one's life. Religious counseling…
It is impossible for science to "overtake" the light but not impossible for humans to experience it. hile light is pleasing, it is not lasting for the poet. hen…
Though her mother had passed, there would be maternal, familial and nurturing love to be found in the warmth and kindness of those whom she would meet here. ith…
At the same time, a series of interrelated events occur between the communication partners over time and space. The active sender is comprised of encoder / interpretation / decoder.…
What's more embarrassing is that I had to sit in the front row so I ended up like a superstar being watched by the whole class. It was not…
Business - Ethics
In this example, morality is decided by the gain, pleasure, and other self-interest of the individual donning the ring. Such individuals would more than likely obtain this gain by…
life is an issue that has been plaguing thoughtful people since the first Cro-magnons evolved into modern homo sapiens with the power to think rationally and creatively, and most…
Life How Does a Person Live a Meaningful Life? One of the questions which have perplexed humankind is how to live a meaningful life. This is because there have…
Life worth Living In order for life to be worth living it should have a purpose and for our life to be meaningful we must have some aspiration that…
This sense of leading a purposeful life sustained Frankl in the concentration camps during orld ar II. There he witnessed other Jews finding meaning in their lives. Some men…
Mortality and Life eview For most of us, a sense of impending mortality prompts a need to find closure, conduct a full life review and reconciliation (Clarke, 2007). The…
Paradox When Henry Adams described the "task of education" as being "this problem of running order through chaos, direction through space, discipline through freedom, unity through-multiplicity," it appears that…
Thus, God represents a loving, kind, and good man, but He is also a just man, and therefore, his chosen people must be just and fair as well. They…
Psychology of Happiness and a Life Well-Lived In this paper, I have discussed that happiness as well as morality (meaningful purpose) are actually the ultimate goals and the true…
Health - Nursing
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I can remember as a child always asking myself the "why" questions of life. Why are we here? What is the purpose of life? Why do certain things happen? And is there really a God? I had always kept these questions to myself and eventually pushed them out of my mind altogether. I was raised in a Christian household and you just were not allowed to ask questions of that nature and doubt the faith. The world is the way it is because God made it that way and that is all there is to it. I was really excited to take this class because it would finally give me the opportunity to exercise my personal thoughts and beliefs. I have come to agree with Socrates that "the unexamined life is not worth living." In my opinion life is a combination of
I can remember as a child always asking myself the “why” questions of life. What is the purpose of life? Why are we here? What is the purpose of life? Why do certain things happen? And is there really a God? I had always kept these questions to myself and eventually pushed them out of my mind altogether. I was raised in a Christian household and you just were not allowed to ask questions of that nature and doubt the faith. The world is the way it is because God made it that way and that is all there is to it. I was really excited to take this class because it would finally give me the opportunity to exercise my personal thoughts and beliefs. I have come to agree with Socrates that “the unexamined life is not
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Life Essay : What Is The Meaning Of Life
What is the meaning of life? It is a question that has been asked a million times but never been answered. In my opinion, that question will stay on the list of unanswered questions. If you spend your whole life looking for tits meaning, you will lose a lifetime of what could have been full of joy and excitement. For all that you know, you only get one life, and one chance to live it the best one you can. Would anyone willingly risk what could be their only chance of having a good life? Surrounding yourself with happiness, joy, love and the people around you is one of the best ways to have a successful life. However, before helping people you have to help yourself first and remember that everyone can be victorious in life.
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Philosophy the Meaning of Life
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There are many different views as to what makes life meaningful. Philosopher, Thomas Nagel, presents a good argument as to why a “Sisyphisian” existence is meaningless. This does not necessarily mean that all lives are meaningless, because Richard Taylor and Raymond Martin provide strong evidence that prove otherwise. According to Greek mythology , “The Myth of Sisyphus”, by Albert Camus, condemns Sisyphus to forever roll the same rock up a hill; only to see it roll back down once he reached the top.
Sisyphus’ “scorn of the gods, his hatred of death, and his passion for life” was the reason for his punishment and endless turmoil in accomplishing nothing (Camus 775). In Nagel’s essay “The Absurd”, his views on the meaninglessness of life and the absurdity of it, provide evidence that Sisyphus leads a meaningless life and how all people are condemned to lead this life. He points out that the absurd comes about by “the collision between the seriousness with which we take our lives and the perpetual possibility of regarding everything about which we are serious as arbitrary, or open to doubt”(Nagel 769).
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“ Ok, let me say I’m extremely satisfy with the result while it was a last minute thing. I really enjoy the effort put in. ”
In other words, the things people take seriously in their lives are always open to doubt. Nagel believes that human life becomes absurd when the realization of living an unreasonable life becomes known. “Once the fundamental doubt has begun, it cannot be laid to rest”(771). When people begin to doubt their existence, they search for answers that cannot be justified. Humans are capable of being self-conscious and self-inspiring which gives them the ability to step back and observe themselves from an outside point of view.
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This allows them to see the reality and pointlessness of their goals.
Some people try to escape the absurd and try to add meaning to their lives by giving themselves a role in something bigger. When Nagel says, “a role in some larger enterprise cannot confer significance unless that enterprise is itself significant”, he means that the larger enterprise cannot have meaning, unless the enterprise as a whole has meaning (770). According to Nagel, for something to be meaningful it must be objectively meaningful. For example, Sisyphus leads an objectively meaningless life because he is condemned to roll the stone up the hill forever and achieving nothing.
Nagel says that the life of a mouse is not absurd because the mouse is not aware that it is only a mouse; it does not have the ability to perceive its life like humans can. “Absurdity is one of the most human things about us: a manifestation of our most advanced and interesting characteristics”(774). The absurdity shows people that their lives are meaningless; and when this is recognized, the logical conclusion is suicide. This solution to absurdity is not accepted; instead it is suggested to keep on living in spite of the absurdity of life.
“If we relied hard on reason our life would have collapsed” because relying only on reason would leave people with many philosophical questions, leaving them to dwell on the doubts of life (773). One way to achieve some concept of the meaning of life is to consider the meaninglessness of it as Richard Taylor has done. Like Nagel, Taylor views the endless cycle of Sisyphus pushing the stone up the hill over and over again as a perfect example of a meaningless existence. Taylor proves that a life is meaningless if it is spent in pointless and repetitive toil.
Sisyphus’s repetitive act of rolling a stone up a hill never gets him anywhere nor does anything come from it, and therefore his life is meaningless. However, Taylor came up with concepts that could provide some meaning and hope to Sisyphus’s life. First, if Sisyphus were still condemned to endlessly rolling stones up a hill, but instead of the stones rolling back down, they would “become the foundation for a vast and beautiful indestructible temple…with this construction going on and on, endlessly, and the temple gradually becoming ever more beautiful and inspiring and capable of enduring to the end of time” (Taylor 788).
With these conditions, Sisyphus’s actions now have a purpose because something results from his efforts and creates lasting significance; but his efforts are still endless and therefore still have no meaning. He is still doing the same repetitive routine, and if the temple were to be finished, what then? Taylor believes that “the greatest evil that can be inflicted upon anyone is unrelieved boredom”, which means that if Sisyphus were to ever complete his task he would become engulfed in boredom until he finds another task.
Mankind continues the daily routine to escape this evil; without projects and activities man would be bored. Taylor concludes that human life from an objective viewpoint is “described as a clockworklike thing, without purpose or meaning” because it will always consist of a routine that will never end (790). Another case in which Sisyphus’ life can become meaningful is if his strongest desire was to push stones up a hill, for this is what makes him happiest.
This makes his life subjectively meaningful; it is meaningful to him because it is fulfilling his desire. Taylor states “Sisyphus, will view his life, not as one of hard labor, certainly not one of meaninglessness, buts as good” because he is sentenced to forever doing something that he enjoys (791). This case still does not show a completely meaningful life because it is not whether he enjoys his existence; it is if his existence has meaning, which is still spent in routine. Taylor concludes, “the only genuinely meaningful existence is one that is creative”(792).
For instance, if Sisyphus was willing to roll the stones up the mountain to build an everlasting temple that is not only “beautiful to his eyes, but truly beautiful, in the eyes of every future generation…we have, finally, the perfect image of meaningfulness”(792). Taylor says that one can make anything meaningful by making it creative; not only in the sense of creating physical objects, but also that creativity is a state of mind. “Some can – live meaningfully, by creating our own meanings, whether great or small, and then literally glorying in them, caring not in the least what we “get” from it all”(793).
Having this creative sense leaves people able to find meaning everywhere. Finding out the meaninglessness of life helped Taylor find concepts that could make life meaningful. Martin’s essay, “A Fast Car and a Good Woman”, addresses the problems of both Nagel and Taylor by depicting his own meaning of life. He describes the difference between the problems of the meaning of life and the problems of life itself. Martin says that the problem of the meaning of life is the philosophical question of whether or not life can be worth living.
Instead of focusing on this subject, Martin discuses how the problem of life, “is a practical question of how to live our lives so that they are as worth living as they can be”(Martin 1). Since there is no objective meaning in life as Nagel says, Martin does not try and find it, but tries to see what would make life meaningful in the psychological sense. Martin believes in practical wisdom, “if we take proper care of our lives, questions of meaning will take care of themselves”, that way people are not worried about the meaning of life.
If someone worries about the meaning of life, like Nagel said, and tries to give it reason, it will result in madness. There are those people who cannot set questions of meaning aside; Leo Tolstoy is a prime example of this kind of person. When Tolstoy says, “…And I was absolutely unable to make any reply. The questions were not waiting and I had to answer them at once: if I did not answer them, I could not live”, he means that he needs to be able to understand the questions of meaning before he can move on with his life (1).
Martin says that philosophical questions bring about existent anguish, for instance, when one’s sense of security is lost because it was built on a foundation of unquestioned beliefs. For example, a person whose sense of security that rests on religious beliefs suddenly become subject to doubt, results in such suffering that calls into question the meaning of life. Philosophical questions normally only challenge the beliefs we depend on for security and not necessarily the meaning of life.
Martin says that the suffering is not because of the philosophical problem of the meaning of life, but the sudden realization that our personal beliefs rest on uncertain assumptions. Nagel and Tolstoy both believe that “philosophical challenges to the meaning of life are an important source of psychological problems”(3). With this belief, Martin’s view of practical meaning is wrong. Not being able to overlook the philosophical questions of meaning will ultimately bring you down because of the realizations it brings.
Nagel claims that there is not solution to this, because the absurd cannot be avoided. Martin believes that when life is at its subjective best, that questions of the meaning of life do not arise. At this moment one has temporarily solved the problem of life because the thought of meaning did not arise. This statement makes practical wisdom valid because, “when we are happy, questions about the meaning of our lives rarely ever become problems”(3). To become happy one must take chances, and if one goes down the wrong path to happiness, it could lead to philosophical problems about the meaning of life.
Taylor, like Nagel, uses philosophical questions differ between objective meaninglessness and subjective meaning. He views that life is objectively meaningless, but not completely meaningless. According to Martin, Taylor finds meaning everywhere and Nagel finds is nowhere. However, neither one is psychologically valid because they both rely on philosophical questions for their meaning. Martin says that Taylor’s view is too romantic and makes meaning too easy and Nagel is the opposite with an intellectual view, which makes meaning too hard.
Martin agrees with a view suggested by Taylor’s discussion, “that people have meaningful lives not when they are doing what they will to do but when they are doing what they love to do”(4). Martin believes that life is not essentially meaningful but that it can become meaningful if one does something they love to do. When at one’s subjective best, when not disturbed by questions about the meaning of life, are you also completely satisfied at this moment? According to Martin, it is close enough to being completely satisfied, but it does not last long.
“Since satisfaction doesn’t last, then either we have to continually resatisfy ourselves or successfully and pleasantly distract ourselves from the fact that we haven’t”(5). This is our fate, but it does not completely provide a solution to the problem of life. Therefore, Martin suggests that everyone is chronically unsatisfied. This repetitiveness is one of Taylor’s reasoning’s to the meaninglessness of life, which is reason to why life is not essentially meaningful. To solve the problems of life one does what makes them happy, for Martin this consists of a fast car and a good woman. Happiness is different for everyone.
Martin’s view on life seems to be the most reasonable and ultimately provides happiness for people. He avoids suffering by completely ignoring the philosophical question of the meaning of life. Nagel and Taylor both concentrate on this meaning of life, which lead to no happy results. At least Martin lives a subjectively happy life by not being troubled by the meanings of it. However, Nagel’s argument completely rejects Martin’s because according to Nagel, the absurd cannot be ignored once it is recognized. Martin clearly recognizes but puts it aside to make him believe that there is meaning.
If someone lives a life believing that it is meaningless, then what is the point of living? For the reason of trying to perceive any sort of meaning for human life is so that humans do not always live in doubt. Overall, life objectively has no meaning but that does not leave human existence in utter turmoil. The evidence that Taylor provides, gives us a sense of how there is hope for a meaning in life. Eventually concluding that life would need to be given meaning, purpose, variety, and the sense of creativity to become meaningful, “the only meaningful existence is a creative existence”(Taylor 792).
This is the only meaning for the philosophical meaning of life. Taking Martin’s view, and putting aside philosophical meaning and taking the psychological meaning, gives humans a positive outlook on life by letting subjective happiness be the basis to the solution to the problem of life. All views of life are all based on the struggle to overcome doubt, so ultimately “the itch of desire returns…until death ends the struggle – perhaps forever”(Martin 6).
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Question of the Month
What is the meaning of life, the following answers to this central philosophical question each win a random book. sorry if your answer doesn’t appear: we received enough to fill twelve pages….
Why are we here? Do we serve a greater purpose beyond the pleasure or satisfaction we get from our daily activities – however mundane or heroic they may be? Is the meaning of life internal to life, to be found inherently in life’s many activities, or is it external, to be found in a realm somehow outside of life, but to which life leads? In the internal view it’s the satisfaction and happiness we gain from our actions that justify life. This does not necessarily imply a selfish code of conduct. The external interpretation commonly makes the claim that there is a realm to which life leads after death. Our life on earth is evaluated by a supernatural being some call God, who will assign to us some reward or punishment after death. The meaning of our life, its purpose and justification, is to fulfill the expectations of God, and then to receive our final reward. But within the internal view of meaning, we can argue that meaning is best found in activities that benefit others, the community, or the Earth as a whole. It’s just that the reward for these activities has to be found here, in the satisfactions that they afford within this life, instead of in some external spirit realm.
An interesting way to contrast the internal and external views is to imagine walking through a beautiful landscape. Your purpose in walking may be just to get somewhere else – you may think there’s a better place off in the distance. In this case the meaning of your journey through the landscape is external to the experience of the landscape itself. On the other hand, you may be intensely interested in what the landscape holds. It may be a forest, or it may contain farms, villages. You may stop along the way, study, learn, converse, with little thought about why you are doing these things other than the pleasure they give you. You may stop to help someone who is sick: in fact, you may stay many years, and found a hospital. What then is the meaning of your journey? Is it satisfying or worthwhile only if you have satisfied an external purpose – only if it gets you somewhere else? Why, indeed, cannot the satisfactions and pleasures of the landscape, and of your deeds, be enough?
Greg Studen, Novelty, Ohio
A problem with this question is that it is not clear what sort of answer is being looked for. One common rephrasing is “What is it that makes life worth living?”. There are any number of subjective answers to this question. Think of all the reasons why you are glad you are alive (assuming you are), and there is the meaning of your life. Some have attempted to answer this question in a more objective way: that is to have an idea of what constitutes the good life . It seems reasonable to say that some ways of living are not conducive to human flourishing. However, I am not convinced that there is one right way to live. To suggest that there is demonstrates not so much arrogance as a lack of imagination.
Another way of rephrasing the question is “What is the purpose of life?” Again we all have our own subjective purposes but some would like to think there is a higher purpose provided for us, perhaps by a creator. It is a matter of debate whether this would make life a thing of greater value or turn us into the equivalent of rats in a laboratory experiment. Gloster’s statement in King Lear comes to mind: “As flies to wanton boys we are to the gods – they kill us for their sport.” But why does there have to be a purpose to life separate from those purposes generated within it? The idea that life needs no external justification has been described movingly by Richard Taylor. Our efforts may ultimately come to nothing but “the day was sufficient to itself, and so was the life.” ( Good and Evil , 1970) In the “why are we here?” sense of the question there is no answer. It would be wrong, however, to conclude that life is meaningless. Life is meaningful to humans, therefore it has meaning.
Rebecca Linton, Leicester
When the question is in the singular we search for that which ties all values together in one unity, traditionally called ‘the good’. Current consideration of the good demands a recognition of the survival crises which confront mankind. The threats of nuclear war, environmental poisoning and other possible disasters make it necessary for us to get it right. For if Hannah Arendt was correct concerning the ‘banality of evil’ which affected so many Nazi converts and contaminated the German population by extension, we may agree with her that both Western rational philosophy and Christian teaching let the side down badly in the 20th century.
If we then turn away from Plato’s philosophy, balanced in justice, courage, moderation and wisdom; from Jewish justice and Christian self-denial; if we recognize Kant’s failure to convince populations to keep his three universal principles, then shall we look to the moral relativism of the Western secular minds which admired Nietzsche? Stalin’s purges of his own constituents in the USSR tainted this relativist approach to the search for the good. Besides, if nothing is absolute, but things have value only relative to other things, how do we get a consensus on the best or the worst? What makes your social mores superior to mine – and why should I not seek to destroy your way? We must also reject any hermit, monastic, sect or other loner criteria for the good life. Isolation will not lead to any long-term harmony or peace in the Global Village.
If with Nietzsche we ponder on the need for power in one’s life, but turn in the opposite direction from his ‘superman’ ideal, we will come to some form of the Golden Rule [‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you’]. However, we must know this as an experiential reality. There is life-changing power in putting oneself in the place of the other person and feeling for and with them. We call this feeling empathy .
Persons who concentrate on empathy should develop emotional intelligence. When intellectual intelligence does not stand in the way of this kind of personal growth, but contributes to it, we can call this balance maturity . Surely the goal or meaning of human life is therefore none other than finding oneself becoming a mature adult free to make one’s own decisions, yet wanting everyone in the world to have this same advantage. This is good!
Ernie Johns, Owen Sound, Ontario
‘Meaning’ is a word referring to what we have in mind as ‘signification’, and it relates to intention and purpose. ‘Life’ is applied to the state of being alive; conscious existence. Mind, consciousness, words and what they signify, are thus the focus for the answer to the question. What seems inescapable is that there is no meaning associated with life other than that acquired by our consciousness, inherited via genes, developed and given content through memes (units of culture). The meanings we believe life to have are then culturally and individually diverse. They may be imposed through hegemony; religious or secular, benign or malign; or identified through deliberate choice, where this is available. The range is vast and diverse; from straightforward to highly complex. Meaning for one person may entail supporting a football team; for another, climbing higher and higher mountains; for another, being a parent; for another, being moved by music, poetry, literature, dance or painting; for another the pursuit of truth through philosophy; for another through religious devotions, etc. But characteristic of all these examples is a consciousness that is positively and constructively absorbed, engaged, involved, fascinated, enhanced and fulfilled. I would exclude negative and destructive desires; for example of a brutal dictator who may find torturing others absorbing and engaging and thus meaningful. Such cases would be too perverse and morally repugnant to regard as anything other than pathological.
The meaning of life for individuals may diminish or fade as a consequence of decline or difficult or tragic circumstances. Here it might, sadly, be difficult to see any meaning of life at all. The meaning is also likely to change from one phase of life to another, due to personal development, new interests, contexts, commitments and maturity.
Colin Brookes, Woodhouse Eaves, Leicestershire
It is clearly internet shopping, franchised fast food and surgically-enhanced boobs. No, this is not true. I think the only answer is to strip back every layer of the physical world, every learnt piece of knowledge, almost everything that seems important in our modern lives. All that’s left is simply existence. Life is existence: it seems ‘good’ to be part of life. But really that’s your lot! We should just be thankful that our lifespan is longer than, say, a spider, or your household mog.
Our over-evolved human minds want more, but unfortunately there is nothing more. And if there is some deity or malignant devil, then you can be sure they’ve hidden any meaning pretty well and we won’t see it in our mortal lives. So, enjoy yourself; be nice to people, if you like; but there’s no more meaning than someone with surgically-enhanced boobs, shopping on the net while eating a Big Mac.
Simon Maltman, By email
To ask ‘What is the meaning of life?’ is a poor choice of words and leads to obfuscation rather than clarity. Why so?
To phrase the question in this fashion implies that meaning is something that inheres in an object or experience – that it is a quality which is as discernible as the height of a door or the solidity of matter. That is not what meaning is like. It is not a feature of a particular thing, but rather the relationship between a perceiver and a thing, a subject and an object, and so requires both. There is no one meaning of, say, a poem, because meaning is generated by it being read and thought about by a subject. As subjects differ so does the meaning: different people evaluate ideas and concepts in different ways, as can be seen from ethical dilemmas. But it would be wrong to say that all these meanings are completely different, as there are similarities between individuals, not least because we belong to the same species and are constructed and programmed in basically the same way. We all have feelings of fear, attachment, insecurity and passion, etc.
So to speak of ‘the meaning of life’, is an error. It would be more correct to refer to the ‘meanings of life’, but as there are currently around six billion humans on Earth, and new psychological and cultural variations coming into being all the time, to list and describe all of these meanings would be a nigh on impossible task.
To ‘find meaning in life’ is a better way of approaching the issue, ie, whilst there is no single meaning of life, every person can live their life in a way which brings them as much fulfilment and contentment as possible. To use utilitarian language, the best that one can hope for is a life which contains as great an excess of pleasure over pain as possible, or alternatively, a life in which as least time as possible is devoted to activities which do not stimulate, or which do nothing to promote the goals one has set for oneself.
Steve Else, Swadlincote, Derbyshire
The meaning of life is not being dead.
Tim Bale, London
The question is tricky because of its hidden premise that life has meaning per se . A perfectly rational if discomforting position is given by Nietzsche, that someone in the midst of living is not in a position to discern whether it has meaning or not, and since we cannot step outside of the process of living to assess it, this is therefore not a question that bears attention.
However, if we choose to ignore the difficulties of evaluating a condition while inside it, perhaps one has to ask the prior question, what is the meaning of meaning ? Is ‘meaning’ given by the greater cosmos? Or do we in our freedom construct the category ‘meaning’ and then fill in the contours and colours? Is meaning always identical with purpose? I might decide to dedicate my life to answering this particular question, granting myself an autonomously devised purpose. But is this identical with the meaning of my life? Or can I live a meaningless life with purpose? Or shall meaning be defined by purpose? Some metaphysics offer exactly this corollary – that in pursuing one’s proper good, and thus one’s meaning, one is pursuing one’s telos or purpose. The point of these two very brief summaries of approaches to the question is to show the hazards in this construction of the question.
Karen Zoppa, The University of Winnipeg
One thing one can hardly fail to notice about life is that it is self-perpetuating. Palaeontology tells us that life has been perpetuating itself for billions of years. What is the secret of this stunning success? Through natural selection, life forms adapt to their environment, and in the process they acquire, one might say they become , knowledge about that environment, the world in which they live and of which they are part. As Konrad Lorenz put it, “Life itself is a process of acquiring knowledge.” According to this interpretation of evolution, the very essence of life (its meaning?) is the pursuit of knowledge : knowledge about the real world that is constantly tested against that world. What works and is in that sense ‘true’, is perpetuated. Life is tried and proven knowledge that has withstood the test of geological time. From this perspective, adopting the pursuit of knowledge as a possible meaning of one’s life seems, literally, a natural choice. The history of science and philosophy is full of examples of people who have done just that, and in doing so they have helped human beings to earn the self-given title of Homo sapiens – man of knowledge.
Axel Winter, Wynnum, Queensland
Life is a stage and we are the actors, said William Shakespeare, possibly recognizing that life quite automatically tells a story just as any play tells a story. But we are more than just actors; we are the playwright too, creating new script with our imaginations as we act in the ongoing play. Life is therefore storytelling. So the meaning of life is like the meaning of ‘the play’ in principle: not a single play with its plot and underlying values and information, but the meaning behind the reason for there being plays with playwright, stage, actors, props, audience, and theatre. The purpose of the play is self-expression , the playwright’s effort to tell a story. Life, a grand play written with mankind’s grand imagination, has this same purpose.
But besides being the playwright, you are the audience too, the recipient of the playwrights’ messages. As playwright, actor, and audience you are an heir to both growth and self-expression. Your potential for acquiring knowledge and applying it creatively is unlimited. These two concepts may be housed under one roof: Liberty. Liberty is the freedom to think and to create. “Give me liberty or give me death,” said Patrick Henry, for without liberty life has no meaningful purpose. But with liberty life is a joy. Therefore liberty is the meaning of life.
Ronald Bacci, Napa, CA
The meaning of life is understood according to the beliefs that people adhere to. However, all human belief systems are accurate or inaccurate to varying degrees in their description of the world. Moreover, belief systems change over time: from generation to generation; from culture to culture; and era to era. Beliefs that are held today, even by large segments of the population, did not exist yesterday and may not exist tomorrow. Belief systems, be they religious or secular, are therefore arbitrary. If the meaning of life is wanted, a meaning that will transcend the test of time or the particulars of individual beliefs, then an effort to arrive at a truly objective determination must be made. So in order to eliminate the arbitrary, belief systems must be set aside. Otherwise, the meaning of life could not be determined.
Objectively however, life has no meaning because meaning or significance cannot be obtained without reference to some (arbitrary) belief system. Absent a subjective belief system to lend significance to life, one is left with the ‘stuff’ of life, which, however offers no testimony as to its meaning. Without beliefs to draw meaning from, life has no meaning, but is merely a thing ; a set of facts that, in and of themselves, are silent as to what they mean. Life consists of a series of occurrences in an infinite now, divorced of meaning except for what may be ascribed by constructed belief systems. Without such beliefs, for many the meaning of life is nothing .
Surely, however, life means something . And indeed it does when an individual willfully directs his/her consciousness at an aspect of life, deriving from it an individual interpretation, and then giving this interpretation creative expression. Thus the meaning in the act of giving creative expression to what may be ephemeral insights. Stated another way, the meaning of life is an individual’s acts of creation . What, exactly is created, be it artistic or scientific, may speak to the masses, or to nobody, and may differ from individual to individual. The meaning of life, however, is not the thing created, but the creative act itself ; namely, that of willfully imposing an interpretation onto the stuff of life, and projecting a creative expression from it.
Raul Casso, Laredo, Texas
Rather than prattle on and then discover that I am merely deciding what ‘meaning’ means, I will start out with the assumption that by ‘meaning’ we mean ‘purpose.’ And because I fear that ‘purpose’ implies a Creator, I will say ‘best purpose.’ So what is the best purpose for which I can live my life? The best purpose for which I can live my life is, refusing all the easy ways to destroy. This is not as simple as it sounds. Refusing to destroy life – to murder – wouldn’t just depend on our lack of homicidal impulses, but also on our willingness to devote our time to finding out which companies have murdered union uprisers; to finding out whether animals are killed out of need or greed or ease; to finding the best way to refuse to fund military murder, if we find our military to be murdering rather than merely protecting. Refusing to destroy resources, to destroy loves, to destroy rights, turns out to be a full-time job. Oh sure, we can get cocky and say “Well, oughtn’t we destroy injustice? Or bigotry? Or hatred?” But we would be only fooling ourselves. They’re all already negatives: to destroy injustice, bigotry, and hatred is to refuse the destruction of justice, understanding, and love. So, it turns out, we finally say “Yes” to life, when we come out with a resounding, throat-wrecking “NO!”
Carrie Snider, By email
I propose that the knowledge we have now accumulated about life discloses quite emphatically that we are entirely a function of certain basic laws as they operate in the probably unique conditions prevailing here on Earth.
The behaviour of the most elementary forms of matter we know, subatomic particles, seems to be guided by four fundamental forces, of which electromagnetism is probably the most significant here, in that through the attraction and repulsion of charged particles it allows an almost infinite variation of bonding: it allows atoms to form molecules, up the chain to the molecules of enormous length and complexity we call as nucleic acids, and proteins. All these are involved in a constant interaction with surrounding chemicals through constant exchanges of energy. From these behaviour patterns we can deduce certain prime drives or purposes of basic matter, namely:
1. Combination (bonding).
2. Survival of the combination, and of any resulting organism.
3. Extension of the organism, usually by means of replication.
4. Acquisition of energy.
Since these basic drives motivate everything that we’re made of, all the energy, molecules and chemistry that form our bodies, our brains and nervous systems, then whatever we think, say and do is a function of the operation of those basic laws Therefore everything we think, say and do will be directed towards our survival, our replication and our demand for energy to fuel these basic drives. All our emotions and our rational thinking, our loves and hates, our art, science and engineering are refinements of these basic drives. The underlying drive for bonding inspires our need for interaction with other organisms, particularly other human beings, as we seek ever wider and stronger links conducive to our better survival. Protection and extension of our organic integrity necessitates our dependence on and interaction with everything on Earth.
Our consciousness is also necessarily a function of these basic drives, and when the chemistry of our cells can no longer operate due to disease, ageing or trauma, we lose consciousness and die. Since I believe we are nothing more than physics and chemistry, death terminates our life once and for all. There is no God, there is no eternal life. But optimistically, there is the joy of realising that we have the power of nature within us, and that by co-operating with our fellow man, by nurturing the resources of the world, by fighting disease, starvation, poverty and environmental degradation, we can all conspire to improve life and celebrate not only its survival on this planet, but also its proliferation. So the purpose of life is just that: to involve all living things in the common purpose of promoting and enjoying what we are – a wondrous expression of the laws of Nature, the power of the Universe.
Peter F. Searle, Topsham, Devon
“What is the meaning of life?” is hard to get a solid grip on. One possible translation of it is “What does it all mean?” One might spend a lifetime trying to answer such a heady question. Answering it requires providing an account of the ultimate nature of the world, our minds, value and how all these natures interrelate. I’d prefer to offer a rather simplistic answer to a possible interpretation of our question. When someone asks “What is the meaning of life?,” they may mean “What makes life meaningful?” This is a question I believe one can get a grip on without developing a systematic philosophy.
The answer I propose is actually an old one. What makes a human life have meaning or significance is not the mere living of a life, but reflecting on the living of a life.
Even the most reflective among us get caught up in pursuing ends and goals. We want to become fitter; we want to read more books; we want to make more money. These goal-oriented pursuits are not meaningful or significant in themselves. What makes a life filled with them either significant or insignificant is reflecting on why one pursues those goals. This is second-order reflection; reflection on why one lives the way one does. But it puts one in a position to say that one’s life has meaning or does not.
One discovers this meaning or significance by evaluating one’s life and meditating on it; by taking a step back from the everyday and thinking about one’s life in a different way. If one doesn’t do this, then one’s life has no meaning or significance. And that isn’t because one has the wrong sorts of goals or ends, but rather has failed to take up the right sort of reflective perspective on one’s life. This comes close to Socrates’ famous saying that the unexamined life is not worth living. I would venture to say that the unexamined life has no meaning.
Casey Woodling, Gainesville, FL
For the sake of argument, let’s restrict the scope of the discussion to the human species, and narrow down the choices to
1) There is no meaning of life, we simply exist;
2) To search for the meaning of life; and
3) To share an intimate connection with humankind: the notion of love.
Humans are animals with an instinct for survival. At a basic level, this survival requires food, drink, rest and procreation. In this way, the meaning of life could be to continue the process of evolution. This is manifested in the modern world as the daily grind.
Humans also have the opportunity and responsibility of consciousness. With our intellect comes curiosity, combined with the means to understand complex problems. Most humans have, at some point, contemplated the meaning of life. Some make it a life’s work to explore this topic. For them and those like them, the question may be the answer.
Humans are a social species. We typically seek out the opposite sex to procreate. Besides the biological urge or desire, there is an interest in understanding others. We might simply gain pleasure in connecting with someone in an intimate way. Whatever the specific motivation, there is something that we crave, and that is to love and be loved.
The meaning of life may never be definitively known. The meaning of life may be different for each individual and/or each species. The truth of the meaning of life is likely in the eye of the beholder. There were three choices given at the beginning of this essay, and for me, the answer is all of the above.
Jason Hucsek, San Antonio, TX
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The next question is: What Is The Nature Of Reality? Answers should be less than 400 words. Subject lines or envelopes should be marked ‘Question Of The Month’. You will be edited.
Essays on Meaning of Life
When you are living your life from day to day and you don’t know why you are living it then you won’t get the most out of it. Your life will just be boring and dull with nothing to make you want to strive to do things that might make the most out of your life but if you try to find or have already found the meaning to your life then your life will be like fireworks every time you do something good.
Things sometimes just don’t go your way and get messed up. That is just a normal part of everyday life and it can’t be fixed. Instead, we should have plan A, plan B or even plan C so when it get messed up, you are prepared for it and carry on with plan B and C. Always do the things you love so you won’t regret it later and not be scared of the things that are going to block your way.
The meaning of life isn’t just about life and death but instead, it is about living the life you want and doing the things you want or not. It all depends on the decisions you make in your life that might or might not help you find the meaning of your life. It’s isn’t always what people want of you but the way you live it and make the most out of it.
Essay topics, information.
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The First World War wreaked more havoc and destruction than the world had ever seen before. All around them, people could only see death and devastation. The existing moral structure and value systems were coming crumbling down as men killed fellow men without so much …
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Van’s life is described as “most simple and ordinary and therefore most terrible” (Tolstoy 42). So what would happen when death befalls him? What would be with his material pursuits in life? Rather, what would be without a spiritual pursuit in life? As death loomed …
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